Harvey Weinstein Sent to California to Face More Sexual Charges
LOS ANGELES (AP) – New York prison officials handed convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein to California on Tuesday to face additional sexual assault charges, ending the former producer’s long struggle of film to delay his extradition.
Weinstein, 69, could face justice in Los Angeles on 11 counts of sexual assault, including four counts of rape, as of Wednesday, according to his LA lawyer Mark Werksman. The district attorney’s office made no immediate comment.
Weinstein’s lawyers had tried to negotiate to stop the transfer, but it was expected to happen soon, his spokesman Judah Engelmayer said.
“We will fight so that Harvey can receive the medical care he needs and of course, so that he can be treated fairly,” Engelmayer said. “Due process, the presumption of innocence and a fair trial are always his right. “
A New York judge approved Weinstein’s extradition to California in June, rejecting his lawyers’ request to keep him in a state prison near Buffalo, where he is serving a 23-year sentence on a rape conviction Last year., until the start of jury selection in the Los Angeles case.
Weinstein’s attorney, Norman Effman, argued he should remain in the maximum security setting similar to a New York City hospital while receiving treatment for health issues, including vision loss.
Weinstein’s time in California detention will count towards his New York sentence, officials said.
Weinstein was charged in January 2020 with 11 counts of sexual assault in California involving five women, resulting from allegations in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013. The charges include rape, forced oral copulation, coercive sexual violence and sexual penetration through the use of Forcing.
Weinstein claims his innocence and maintains that all sexual activity was consensual.
The California charges were announced shortly before Weinstein’s conviction in New York City for raping an aspiring actress in 2013 in a Manhattan hotel room and forcibly performing oral sex on a television and film production assistant in 2006 in his Manhattan apartment.
He is appealing against this conviction.
A lawyer for one of Weinstein’s accusers applauded Tuesday’s transfer, which has been repeatedly delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as legal arguments over paperwork and his medical needs.
“The opportunity to hold Weinstein accountable for his actions in California gives a voice to survivors, including my client, Jane Doe 4,” lawyer Elizabeth Fegan said in a statement. “They deserve to be heard and for Weinstein to be held accountable for his actions. Our hope is that a guilty verdict in California will ensure that Harvey Weinstein will spend the rest of his life behind bars, ensuring justice for women everywhere. “
Thompson reported from Buffalo, NY Associated Press writer Michael Sisak in New York contributed to this report.