The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has filed court papers asserting that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is capable of providing medical care to disgraced former film producer Harvey Weinstein, whose attorneys filed court papers seeking to block his transfer from a New York prison until he is “medically fit.”
The court papers, filed Tuesday, note that the prosecution is “ready to bring petitioner to trial” and is aware of Weinstein’s statutory right to be brought to trial within 120 days of arriving in Los Angeles, where he is facing sexual assault charges.
“The People are informed and believe that Los Angeles County Sheriff Department (respondent) is capable of providing continuity of medical care to petitioner while in respondent’s custody …,” according to the document.
No court date has been set yet in Los Angeles on the defense’s petition.
On June 15, a judge in New York ruled that Weinstein could be moved from a prison in that state — where he is serving a 23-year term after being convicted of a criminal sex act against a former production assistant and raping an aspiring actress — to Los Angeles County.
In a statement issued that day, one of Weinstein’s attorneys, Mark Werksman, said, “We are disappointed by the judge’s ruling, but we are appealing his decision and have filed a habeas corpus petition in the Los Angeles Superior Court to prevent the Los Angeles County District Attorney from transporting Mr. Weinstein to Los Angeles until he can receive the medical care he desperately needs in New York.”
The court filing in Los Angeles states that Weinstein is in “urgent need of medical treatment to save his eyesight, and that this treatment could take anywhere from 24 to 36 months,”’ and asks a judge in Los Angeles to delay the transfer until his medical treatment is completed.
An Erie County prosecutor told the judge in New York last month that any attempt to bring Weinstein was “probably more likely in the first half of July.” One another of Weinstein’s attorneys, Norman Effman, said then that authorities in Los Angeles could do a “virtual” arraignment to allow his client to remain in custody in New York and that a delay in the transfer would allow Weinstein to get needed medical treatment and then be ready to go to Los Angeles for the start of jury selection in his trial.
The judge in New York, Kenneth Case, denied the defense’s request for a 10-day stay.
In the court papers filed in Los Angeles, the defense alleges that “the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office is seeking to transport and hold petitioner in unacceptable conditions because transporting him here necessarily means delaying or denying the specialized medical treatment he requires, which could result in irreparable harm to petitioner’s eyesight.”
“As such, this court should order the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office to release petitioner and allow him to remain in the physical custody of New York State until such a time as he is medically fit to proceed to be transported and stand trial,” the defense wrote in the Los Angeles filing.
Weinstein, 69, is reportedly facing a sealed indictment in Los Angeles involving the same 11 counts for which he was initially charged. The indictment would allow prosecutors to move forward with the trial more quickly.
Weinstein was initially charged in January 2020 with sex-related charges involving three women. Last October, prosecutors filed additional charges against him alleging that he sexually assaulted two other women in Beverly Hills.