Harvey Weinstein charged with rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles

6 January 2020, 19:25 | Updated: 7 January 2020, 10:40

Harvey Weinstein, third from left, leaves court in New York
Harvey Weinstein, third from left, leaves court in New York. Picture: PA
Sylvia De Luca

By Sylvia De Luca

Harvey Weinstein has been charged in Los Angeles with rape and sexual assault on the day his trial on five charges of rape and sexual assault began in New York.

Criminal charges against Harvey Weinstein have been made in Los Angeles on Monday, following the start of the disgraced movie mogul’s rape trial in New York.

The charges in Los Angeles involved an alleged 2013 rape and a sexual assault of a second woman.

LA County District Attorney Jackie Lacey issued a press release ahead of a planned press conference saying Weinstein has been charged with "one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint."

He is accused of pushing one woman inside her hotel room and raping her and then sexually assaulting another woman the next day in a Beverly Hills hotel suite.

“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” Ms Lacey said in the press release.

“I want to commend the victims who have come forward and bravely recounted what happened to them. It is my hope that all victims of sexual violence find strength and healing as they move forward.”

If convicted in LA, Weinstein faces up to 28 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Harvey Weinstein arrives at federal court in New York.
Harvey Weinstein arrives at federal court in New York. Picture: PA

The news of the LA case comes as a frail-looking Harvey Weinstein arrived at court on Monday for the opening day of rape trial in Manhatten, New York.

The 67-year old faces allegations that he raped one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.

Harvey Weinstein, who arrived at court with a walking frame, has pleaded not guilty and says any sexual activity was consensual.

If he is convicted of the most serious charges against him, two counts of predatory sexual assault, he faces a mandatory life sentence.

Actor Rose McGowan, right, speaks at a news conference as actor Rosanna Arquette, center left, listens outside a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein
Actor Rose McGowan, right, speaks at a news conference as actor Rosanna Arquette, center left, listens outside a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein. Picture: PA

Actor Rosanna Arquette, who says Weinstein derailed her career after resisting his advances, says she will attend court to support his alleged victims.

High profile actresses including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie are among those who say the Oscar-winning producer behaved inappropriately towards them.

According to half a dozen lawyers, over 30 actresses and Weinstein employees who sued him for accusations ranging from sexual misconduct to rape, agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement with the Weinstein Company.

After more than two years since the allegations first came to widespread public attention and catalysed the #MeToo movement, jury selection in New York is scheduled to start this week.

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