Harvey Weinstein pleaded not responsible in a Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday to 4 counts of rape and 7 different sexual assault counts.
Sheriff’s deputies introduced the 69-year-old convicted rapist into court docket in a wheelchair. He was carrying a brown jail jumpsuit and face masks. Lawyer Mark Werksman entered the plea for the disgraced film mogul a day after Weinstein was extradited to California from New York, the place he was serving a 23-year jail time period.
Weinstein spoke solely to say “thanks” to Decide Sergio Tapia, who wished him good luck because the listening to ended.
He now awaits a second trial on a second coast, and the potential of one other prolonged sentence.
Weinstein’s indictment includes 5 ladies in incidents spanning from 2004 to 2013. Most are stated to have taken place within the motels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles that the New York-based Weinstein would make his headquarters for Hollywood enterprise. Some occurred throughout Oscars week, when his movies have been perennial contenders earlier than the #MeToo motion introduced him down.
He pleaded not responsible to 4 counts of rape, 4 counts of forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint and one depend of sexual penetration by use of power, costs that collectively might deliver a sentence of 140 years.
Harvey Weinstein extradited to California to face additional sexual assault costs
Werksman instructed the choose that he was submitting paperwork requesting the dismissal of three of the counts, saying they have been past the statute of limitations.
“They’re baseless, they’re from lengthy, way back, they’re uncorroborated,” Werksman stated of the costs after the listening to. “We’re assured that if we’ve a good trial he can be acquitted.”
The ladies weren’t recognized within the indictment.
Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents two of them, stated the age of the incidents was not an element of their reality.
“Allegations of sexual assault and rape do take a very long time to report, so the concept that they might not have disclosed to a legislation enforcement officer for a few years doesn’t imply that these are usually not credible,” Allred stated.
The phrases of Weinstein’s extradition require that his trial start by November. Werksman stated Weinstein had but to waive that proper. However it could be uncommon for the trial to start that rapidly. Weinstein returns to court docket for a motions listening to subsequent week.
A New York jury discovered Weinstein responsible of raping an aspiring actress in 2013 in a Manhattan lodge room and forcibly performing oral intercourse on a TV and movie manufacturing assistant in 2006 at his Manhattan condominium.
He’s interesting that conviction, searching for a brand new trial. Weinstein maintains his innocence and contends that any sexual exercise was consensual.
Coronavirus outbreak: Harvey Weinstein checks constructive for COVID-19 from jail
Los Angeles prosecutors first charged Weinstein in January 2020, simply as jury choice was getting underway within the New York Metropolis case.
Extra costs have been added later within the 12 months, and in March, he was indicted by an LA County grand jury. That indictment was unsealed by the choose on Wednesday, however the allegations in it are basically an identical to these already revealed in earlier prison complaints.
The pandemic and procedural delays meant that Weinstein’s extradition took properly over a 12 months. His attorneys cited his declining well being as they sought to maintain him at a state jail close to Buffalo, New York, till jury choice started within the Los Angeles trial.
At Wednesday’s listening to, Werksman requested a well being examination of Weinstein. He stated exterior court docket that he was particularly involved for Weinstein’s imaginative and prescient.
“He’s going blind in a single eye,” the lawyer stated.
As soon as a significant energy in Hollywood alongside together with his brother Bob and their film corporations Miramax and The Weinstein Co., Harvey Weinstein can be marked because the archvillain of the #MeToo motion beginning late in 2017, when ladies’s accounts have been revealed within the New York Instances and the New Yorker. He can be arrested in New York seven months later.
Rumors about Weinstein’s conduct swirled in movie business circles for many years, however he silenced many accusers with payoffs, nondisclosure agreements and the worry that he might crush their careers.
“Anybody who abuses their energy and affect to prey upon others can be delivered to justice,” Los Angeles County District Lawyer George Gascon stated in a press release Wednesday.
The Los Angeles costs got here from a activity power established to sort out sexual misconduct in Hollywood as #MeToo gained momentum.
Weinstein and porn performer Ron Jeremy are among the many few charged by the group, which declined to prosecute greater than 20 well-known males as a result of the allegations in opposition to them have been too outdated or couldn’t be corroborated.
Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in jail
© 2021 The Canadian Press