The Manhattan district attorney is expected to pursue an indictment of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to a grand jury, senior officials familiar with the investigation tell News 4 New York. But the sources now say that discussion of presenting the case to a grand jury as early as next week could be pushed back by the D.A.'s office.
Manhattan District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Joan Vollero said late Tuesday “We are not commenting on the investigation or any timeline."
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance told News 4 earlier in the day, "We'll move as fast as we can to resolve the outstanding issues."
A spokesperson for Weinstein said Wednesday, "We do not believe an indictment of Mr. Weinstein is imminent. A formal presentation will be made on Mr. Weinstein's behalf in the appropriate course of the investigation, and we strongly believe that no criminal charges are warranted."
Weinstein has also hired high-profile defense attorneys Ben Branfman and Blair Berk to represent him in the case in New York City, the spokesperson said. Branfman represented former International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn during a 2011 rape case that fell apart amid questions about the accuser's credibility, and Blerk has represented Mel Gibson, Kiefer Sutherland and others.
The development by prosecutors comes after NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told reporters Friday that they were gathering evidence for a possible rape arrest of Weinstein, and that it had presented the case to the district attorney's office.
Vance said his office is working closely with the NYPD on this and other investigations: "We are on the same page when it comes to mission, which is protecting the public and preventing crime and building investigations and cases."
He also urged any victim of sexual assault to contact his office, saying, "When that report is made, it will be investigated."
Boyce said last week that investigators have interviewed actress Paz de la Huerta, who called police on Oct. 26. Boyce said detectives found the "Boardwalk Empire" actress' story believable and corroborated portions of her account.
De la Huerta told CBS News in an interview that aired last Thursday she was first raped in October 2010 after Weinstein gave her a ride home from a party, insisted on having a drink in her apartment and forced himself on her. She said he raped her again in December 2010 after coming to her apartment. She had been drinking and was not in a condition to give consent, the actress told CBS News.
Boyce said the factors that made de la Huerta's story credible included "the ability to articulate each and every minute of the crime, where she was, where they met, where this happened and what he did," he said.
"If this person was still in New York, and it was recent, we'd go right away and make the arrest," Boyce said Friday. "No doubt. But we're talking about a 7-year-old case. And we have to move forward gathering evidence first."
Weinstein’s representatives have not responded to recent requests for comment. Previously, a representative has said that Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.
The investigation comes a month after The New York Times published an expose of sexual harassment allegations against Weinstein, leading to his firing from the company he co-founded and his expulsion from the organization that bestows the Academy Awards.