Weinstein Charged with Sex Crimes In

By Dalton, Andrew; Hays, Tom et al. | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), January 7, 2020 | Go to article overview

Weinstein Charged with Sex Crimes In


Dalton, Andrew, Hays, Tom, Sisak, Michael R., Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


Weinstein charged with sex crimes in L.A. on eve of N.Y. trial

LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles prosecutors charged Harvey Weinstein on Monday with sexually assaulting two women on successive nights during Oscars week in 2013, bringing the new case against the disgraced Hollywood mogul on the eve of jury selection for his New York trial.

The case, brought by a task force set up by the Los Angeles County district attorney to investigate sex-crime allegations against entertainment figures, now puts Weinstein in deep legal peril on both coasts, where he built a career as the one of the most powerful - and feared - figures in show business before a barrage of accusations from more than 75 women led to his downfall and ignited the #MeToo movement.

Weinstein, 67, was charged with raping a woman at a Los Angeles hotel on Feb. 18, 2013, after pushing his way inside her room, then sexually assaulting a woman in a Beverly Hills hotel suite the next night. He could get up to 28 years in prison on charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery.

"We see you, we hear you and we believe you"' District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in announcing the charges, addressing herself to the studio boss's accusers.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said the charges open the "next chapter" for a man "who has gotten away with too much for too long," while Beverly Hills Chief Sandra Spagnoli called the cases "horrendous crimes perpetrated by a sexual predator."

Lawyers for Weinstein had no immediate comment on the new charges, though he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Jury selection is set to begin today in the New York case, in which Weinstein is charged with raping a woman in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing a sex act on another woman in 2006. He has said any sexual activity was consensual. If convicted of the most serious charges, predatory sexual assault, he faces a mandatory life sentence.

"The walls of justice are closing in on Harvey Weinstein. He is now being prosecuted both in New York and Los Angeles," attorney Gloria Allred exulted in a statement. Allred represents one of the alleged victims in the New York case as well as actress Annabella Sciorra, who is scheduled to testify against Weinstein in New York.

The charges announced Monday in Los Angeles took more than two years to file because the women were reluctant to provide all the information necessary, according to Lacey. The alleged attacks follow a pattern similar to the offenses described in the New York case, dozens of lawsuits and women's accounts to media outlets.

The first accuser is an Italian actress, according to her attorney, David Ring. The woman, who asked that her name not be used, said in court documents that Weinstein arrived uninvited at her hotel on the night in question, forced her to perform oral sex on him and raped her, then threatened her life if she disclosed the attack, according to court documents.

Ring said in a statement Monday that his client "values her privacy, but will do what is necessary to obtain justice for what Weinstein did to her in 2013."

The second woman said she had agreed to meet Weinstein for a business meeting at his Beverly Hills hotel and was unwittingly led into the bathroom of his suite, where a naked Weinstein prevented her from leaving, took down her dress and masturbated as he held her in place by her breast, court papers said.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault, unless they agree to be named.

The task force is still investigating sex-crime allegations against Weinstein from three women, the district attorney said. …

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