Harvey Weinstein has been convicted of sexual assault charges in California, said one of his lawyers on Monday, after the world-famous Hollywood producer appeared in a court in New York, which was set up to decide to extradite him or not.
In court, 69-year-old Weinstein wore a collarless rust-colored shirt. He was transferred from the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo. The trial was held virtually, showing the suspect on video before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case.
Sexual Assault Charges
Authorities convicted Weinstein in February in Manhattan. The suspect attempted to appeal his case and his 23-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting Mimi Hayeli, his former production assistant, and raping Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress.
Weinstein’s case accuses him of conducting multiple sexual crimes on five women from 2004 to 2013 in the Los Angeles area. Authorities announced the charges on the suspect last year. The crimes include four counts of forcible rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraints, and one count of sexual penetration by use of force. The suspect has denied the charges of non-consensual sex.
A public defender representing Weinstein, Norman Effman, requested the court to arraign the suspect on the indictment held virtually in New York instead of extradition. The legal expert said Weinstein had some necessary medical treatment he needed to receive such as eye and dental surgery.
Effman said the suspect, who was diabetic, was “almost technically blind at this point” and suffered from cardiac and back problems. “We’re not trying to avoid what is going to happen in California. We believe there is not only a defense to these charges but a very good defense to these charges.”
Weinstein is scheduled for another hearing on April 30. Many of the suspect’s victims joined in the #MeToo movement which aimed at combating sexual abuse and harassment by men. This included powerful individuals such as Weinstein who had great influence.
The suspect could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted in California even if he manages to overturn his New York conviction, the National Post reported.
“These are stale, unsubstantiated, uncorroborated, uncredible allegations that arose during the hysteria of the #MeToo movement. We’re confident that Mr. Weinstein will be acquitted because there’s no credible evidence against him. He’s innocent,” Mark Werksman, Weinstein’s criminal defense lawyer said.
Last July, Los Angeles’ District Attorney first sought Weinstein’s extradition. However, the process was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.