The disgraced film mogul now awaits a second trial on a second coast, and the potential of one other prolonged sentence
Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom Wednesday to 4 counts of rape and 7 different sexual assault counts.
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Sheriff’s deputies introduced the 69-year-old convicted rapist into courtroom in a wheelchair. He was carrying a brown jail jumpsuit and face masks. Attorney 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 “thank you” to Judge 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 entails 5 ladies in incidents spanning from 2004 to 2013. Most are mentioned to have taken place in the inns 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 guilty to 4 counts of rape, 4 counts of forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint and one rely of sexual penetration by use of drive, fees that collectively might deliver a sentence of 140 years.
Werksman informed 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 long, long ago, they’re uncorroborated,” Werksman mentioned of the costs after the listening to. “We are confident that if we have a fair trial he will be acquitted.”
The ladies have been not recognized in the indictment.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents two of them, mentioned the age of the incidents was not an element in their fact.
“Allegations of sexual assault and rape do take a long time to report, so the idea that they may not have disclosed to a law enforcement officer for many years does not mean that those are not credible,” Allred mentioned.
The phrases of Weinstein’s extradition require that his trial start by November. Werksman mentioned Weinstein had but to waive that proper. But it will be uncommon for the trial to start that shortly. Weinstein returns to courtroom for a motions listening to subsequent week.
A New York jury discovered Weinstein guilty 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 is interesting that conviction, looking for a brand new trial. Weinstein maintains his innocence and contends that any sexual exercise was consensual.
Los Angeles prosecutors first charged Weinstein in January 2020, simply as jury choice was getting underway in the New York City case.
More fees have been added later in the yr, 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 primarily equivalent to these already revealed in earlier felony complaints.
The pandemic and procedural delays meant that Weinstein’s extradition took nicely over a yr. 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 in the Los Angeles trial.
At Wednesday’s listening to, Werksman requested a well being examination of Weinstein. He mentioned exterior courtroom that he was particularly involved for Weinstein’s imaginative and prescient.
“He’s going blind in one eye,” the legal professional mentioned.
Once a serious 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 in the New York Times and the New Yorker. He can be arrested in New York seven months later.
Rumors about Weinstein’s habits swirled in movie trade circles for many years, however he silenced many accusers with payoffs, nondisclosure agreements and the concern that he might crush their careers.
“Anyone who abuses their power and influence to prey upon others will be brought to justice,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón mentioned in an announcement Wednesday.
The Los Angeles fees got here from a activity drive established to deal with sexual misconduct in Hollywood as #MeToo gained momentum.
Weinstein and porn performer Ron Jeremy are among the many few charged by the staff, which declined to prosecute greater than 20 well-known males as a result of the allegations towards them have been too previous or might not be corroborated.