Mark Werksman, Harvey Weinstein's attorney, speaks before the judge this Wednesday in Los Angeles.DAVID MCNEW / POOL / EFE
Harvey Weinstein has appeared this Wednesday for the first time before a judge in California.
The former Hollywood producer was extradited Tuesday morning from New York to face a new trial on the West Coast for crimes of rape and sexual abuse against five women.
This marks the beginning of a new legal process against a titan of the film industry in the city where he made his name.
Weinstein, who was already sentenced to 23 years in prison in March 2020, has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts related to events that happened almost two decades ago.
The defense has requested that three of the accusations be withdrawn because they consider that the facts have prescribed.
Jury finds Harvey Weinstein guilty of rape and sex crime
Anabella Sciorra, at the trial: "Harvey Weinstein raped me"
The impossible fight for a normal judgment
Weinstein, 69, was charged by Los Angeles County prosecutors in April of this year with rape, multiple penetration attempts, forcing oral sex and other sexual abuse committed in various episodes recorded in West Los Angeles and at a hotel. from Beverly Hills between 2004 and 2013. If convicted, he could face up to 140 years in prison.
After the appearance of this Wednesday, the Los Angeles authorities have only 120 days to start the judicial process against the former leader, according to the rules of extradition between States. The next court hearing will be on July 29, but the defense calculations estimate that the trial will begin in mid-November. The United States judicial system allows a convicted person to be tried for crimes he has committed in various jurisdictions. If Weinstein were sentenced again, he would be returned to Buffalo to serve his sentence and then return to California to serve the new sentence.
The first lawsuits in Los Angeles against the once almighty Hollywood producer date back to January 2020. A woman then told the Los Angeles County district attorney that she had been raped. Another claimed to have suffered abuse. The unrelated incidents occurred in 2013.
These first two testimonies helped other women dare to report. A victim who aspired to be an actress said she was harassed in a Beverly Hills hotel in May 2010. By October 2020, similar accusations had been added that described the same
: young people seeking to start a career, including an Italian model. , and that they ended up suffering attacks in 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2010. Weinstein has denied these accusations. The filmmaker has been accused of various crimes by 90 women.
Lauren Young is the only defendant in the Los Angeles case who has made her name public. Young, who testified against the producer at the New York trial, said Weinstein entered her room at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills in 2013 after a meeting and grabbed her breasts as she masturbated. She fled the room. Today he hopes that justice will be done.
The defense of the sexual predator had done everything possible to delay the trial in California, arguing the poor health of their client. “We will fight for Harvey to get the medical care he needs and, of course, to be treated fairly. He continues to have the right to a process with all the guarantees, to the presumption of innocence and to a fair trial, "said his public relations manager, Juda Engelmayer, in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Weinstein has complained in recent court hearings of mobility problems. Use a walker or wheelchair. On Tuesday morning, he was picked up from the Buffalo prison, northwest of New York, to be transferred to a hospital plane that transported him to the other end of the country and from which he got off on his own foot dressed in a white shirt and a brown sweater. . Weinstein's extradition order was approved on June 15 by Judge Kenneth Case, of Erie County (New York). The magistrate then rejected a defense motion to avoid the trip and noted that Los Angeles County met all the requirements to carry out the new procedure. The lawyers had already managed to postpone for several months the transfer of their client to the west coast of the country thanks to the pandemic. Now howeverHe must face the accusations of five victims in the city that was once his kingdom.