Recent from being extradited to California from a New York jail, disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein has pleaded not responsible to 11 sex-crime expenses, together with 4 counts of rape, in Los Angeles.
Protection lawyer Mark Werksman entered the plea on Weinstein’s behalf on Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court docket. Weinstein, co-founder of the once-powerful studio Miramax, was shackled and introduced into the courtroom by sheriff’s deputies in a wheelchair, sporting a brown jail jumpsuit and a Covid-19 masks pulled down underneath his nostril.
The arraignment listening to got here simply sooner or later after 69-year-old Weinstein arrived in California, ending his battle in opposition to being extradited to the state. He was sentenced to 23 years in a New York jail in March 2020, after being convicted in that state of raping one lady, an aspiring actress, and forcing a second, a manufacturing assistant, to carry out oral intercourse.
Disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein handed over for extradition to face sex-crime expenses in California
In California, Weinstein is accused of sexual assaults on 5 unidentified actresses and fashions. The alleged incidents occurred from 2004 to 2013, principally in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills lodge rooms. He faces expenses of rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual battery by restraint, and sexual penetration by use of pressure.
“The massive image is that these allegations stem from a few years in the past, and that’s the issue the district legal professional’s workplace goes to face,” Werksman stated. “And that’s the issue all of those accusers face, in that they introduced allegations that may’t be substantiated or corroborated by any forensic proof, any contemporaneous reporting, any credible witnesses.”
Werksman instructed Choose Sergio Tapia that he’ll file a movement to dismiss three of the fees, saying they have been past the statute of limitations. He known as these expenses “baseless” and “from lengthy, way back.” He added that he’s assured Weinstein can be acquitted if given a good trial.
Los Angeles prosecutors obtained a grand jury indictment in opposition to Weinstein in March, in order that they received’t want a preliminary listening to to indicate possible trigger that the allegations are true. Meaning the case will be capable to advance to trial comparatively shortly. Weinstein’s extradition settlement reportedly features a provision that the trial start by November, until the defendant waives that proper.
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Extradition proceedings have been halted final yr due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and Weinstein’s attorneys had argued unsuccessfully for his switch to California to be delayed additional on “humanitarian” grounds, given his medical illnesses. Werksman requested on Wednesday for a well being examination of Weinstein, citing such considerations as his consumer’s imaginative and prescient. “He’s going blind in a single eye,” the lawyer stated.
Beginning in 2017, Weinstein was accused of sexually assaulting dozens of actresses and different younger ladies, and of utilizing stress techniques to silence his victims. A few of his accusers, akin to actresses Rosanna Arquette and Heather Graham, stated Weinstein threatened to dam them from getting movie roles in the event that they didn’t do what he needed.
“Anybody who abuses their energy and affect to prey upon others can be delivered to justice,” Los Angeles County District Legal professional George Gascon stated in an announcement on Wednesday.
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