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Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges in LA court

Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to a slew of sex-crime charges Wednesday throughout his first look in court in California, the place he’ll stand trial on the brand new spherical of allegations.

The 69-year-old convicted rapist was rolled right into a Los Angeles courtroom in a wheelchair, dressed in a brown jail jumpsuit and face masks, for his arraignment on an indictment charging him with 11 sexual assault counts, together with 4 counts of rape.

Protection legal professional Mark Werksman entered the plea, and Weinstein spoke solely to say “thanks” to Choose Sergio Tapia, who wished him good luck because the listening to ended.

The disgraced producer is already serving a 23-year sentence for rape and sexual assault following his conviction in Manhattan in February 2020.

On Tuesday, he was whisked away from the Wende Correctional Facility in upstate New York and booked right into a downtown LA jail — ending a prolonged struggle to cease his extradition to the Golden State.

Mark Werksman, attorney for Harvey Weinstein, addresses the court during the arraignment hearing on July 21, 2021.
Mark Werksman, legal professional for Harvey Weinstein, addresses the court in the course of the arraignment listening to on July 21, 2021.
David McNew/Pool Picture through AP

Los Angeles prosecutors first charged Weinstein in January 2020, simply as jury choice was getting underway in his New York case. Extra charges had been added later that yr.

The fallen film mogul was then indicted by an LA grand jury in March based mostly on allegations that he sexually assaulted 5 girls in the Metropolis of Angels and Beverly Hills between 2004 and 2013.

The indictment, unsealed Wednesday, contains counts of rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual battery by restraint and sexual penetration by use of drive. A lot of the alleged sexual assaults are mentioned to have occurred at inns in Beverly Hills, some throughout Oscars week.

The ladies had been not named in the charging paperwork, nevertheless, the identification of one among them, Lauren Younger, has been made public. 

Harvey Weinstein arrives at a Manhattan courthouse for his rape trial, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in New York.
Harvey Weinstein made his first look in a California court on Wednesday.
John Minchillo/AP

The mannequin and aspiring actress testified as a previous “dangerous acts” witness in opposition to Weinstein at his Manhattan trial. She has accused him of trapping her in a room on the Montage Resort in Beverly Hills on Feb. 19, 2013 and groping her whereas he masturbated.

One other alleged sufferer is an Italian mannequin who says that Weinstein raped her on the Mr. C Beverly Hills on Feb. 18, 2013.

Below California legislation, prosecutors have 120 days after Weinstein’s arrival to start court proceedings, which means a trial should begin by mid-November.

The raps might land Weinstein one other 140 years to life behind bars, if convicted.

He has maintained his innocence, each in New York and LA, and contends that any sexual exercise was consensual.

Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents several of Harvey Weinstein's accusers, speaks to reporters after the arraignment.
Legal professional Gloria Allred, who represents a number of of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers, speaks to reporters after the arraignment.
Chris Pizzello/AP

Weinstein’s attorneys have tried to argue that he needs to be stored in the Buffalo-area jail till a jury is chosen in the LA case, citing the ruined Hollywood producer’s declining well being, however their requests have thus far been denied. His time in custody in California will depend towards his New York sentence, officers mentioned.

His attorneys on Wednesday additionally filed a movement to dismiss three of the 11 counts in opposition to him, arguing that the statute of limitations had expired.

“These charges are allegations that had been made years and years in the past,” his legal professional mentioned outdoors the courtroom.

His subsequent listening to in LA is scheduled for July 29.

With Publish wires

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Tina Sanders

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