One day after being extradited from New York, disgraced former film producer Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom to sex-related charges involving five women.
Weinstein, 69, was flown to Los Angeles on Tuesday and subsequently booked into jail, where he is being held without bail.
The former Hollywood mogul was brought into a downtown courtroom Wednesday morning in a wheelchair. His attorney entered the not-guilty plea on his behalf.
One of Weinstein’s attorneys, Mark Werksman, said outside court that the latest allegations against his client are not corroborated by any scientific or forensic evidence, adding that he believes Weinstein “will be acquitted” if he gets a fair trial.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sergio Tapia II ordered Weinstein to return to court July 29 for a hearing on the defense’s motion challenging three of the 11 charges against him.
Werksman contends that those three charges — involving alleged crimes against two women between 2004 and 2010 — are barred by the statute of limitations.
Weinstein has already been sentenced to 23 years in prison in New York, where he was convicted of a criminal sex act against a former production assistant and raping an aspiring actress.
His attorneys had tried to block his transfer from New York to Los Angeles until he was “medically fit” to be moved. A court document filed in Los Angeles by the defense contended that Weinstein was in “urgent need of medical treatment to save his eyesight, and that this treatment could take anywhere from 24 to 36 months.” The defense had also asked a judge in Los Angeles to delay the transfer until Weinstein’s medical treatment is completed.
In court papers filed earlier this month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office asserted that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is capable of providing medical care to Weinstein.
At Wednesday’s arraignment, the judge granted the defense’s request for a medical evaluation for Weinstein.
Los Angeles County prosecutors initially charged Weinstein in January 2020 with sex-related counts involving three women. They filed additional charges against him last October, alleging he sexually assaulted two other women in Beverly Hills. The charges stem from alleged crimes between 2004 and 2013.
A grand jury subsequently indicted Weinstein on the same charges March 15. The indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday, will allow prosecutors to move the case more quickly to trial.
Weinstein allegedly raped a woman at a hotel between September 2004 and September 2005 and another woman on two separate occasions in November 2009 and November 2010 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
He is also charged with sexually assaulting a third woman at a Beverly Hills hotel in May 2010 and sexually assaulting two other women during separate incidents in 2013, according to the District Attorney’s Office, which said the case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments and the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.
He could face a potential maximum of 140 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged of four counts each of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint and one count of sexual penetration by use of force, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
“Anyone who abuses their power and influence to prey upon others will be brought to justice,” District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who said she represents two of the alleged victims, said it was “long overdue” for Weinstein to appear in a courtroom in connection with the Los Angeles case.
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