Judge approves moves to streamline Weinstein case

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge is signing off on changes meant to streamline Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault case after a recent flurry of activity.

Judge James Burke on Friday approved consolidating two indictments against the movie mogul and gave prosecutors the green light to swap a pair of older predatory sexual assault charges with new ones.

Weinstein pleaded not guilty Aug. 26 to a new indictment adding the new charges. Prosecutors then asked to have old versions of those charges dismissed.

Prosecutors say the new charges were needed to lay the legal foundation for “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra (shee-OR’-uh) to testify about claims that Weinstein raped her in 1993.

Weinstein’s case involves allegations from other women. He has denied all accusations of nonconsensual sex. His trial is scheduled to start Jan. 6.

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