McGowan, who was indicted Monday, is accused of leaving a wallet with cocaine inside on a plane at Dulles International Airport last year. On Tuesday, her trial in Loudoun County Circuit Court was set for January 15, 2019. It is expected to last two days.
McGowan says she is being targeted for her advocacy against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The former Charmed star was among the first to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault.
"Rose steadfastly maintains her innocence," her attorney Jose Baez said in a statement. "These charges would have never been brought if it weren't for her activism as a voice for women everywhere. I assure you, this selective prosecution will be met with a strong defense."
Gowan recently hired Baez, a high-profile Florida lawyer who represented Casey Anthony and Aaron Hernandez in their murder trials.
At a hearing last month, prosecutors made the case that McGowan's wallet was properly handled from the moment it was found on a United Airlines plane early on the morning of January 21, 2017. McGowan had flown in for the Women's March on Washington that day.
Defense attorney Jessica Carmichael argued, however, that there was not enough evidence to prove McGowan's guilt, pointing to inconsistencies among witnesses as well as the hours that passed between the flight's landing and the wallet's discovery.
In Virginia, possession of any amount of cocaine is a felony carrying a punishment of up to 10 years in prison.
(c) 2018, The Washington Post
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