New rape, sexual assault charges against Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein, who recently had back surgery, hobbling out of the Manhattan court on Monday.
Harvey Weinstein, who recently had back surgery, hobbling out of the Manhattan court on Monday. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES • Prosecutors in Los Angeles charged former Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein with rape and other sex crimes involving two women, even as his trial on similar charges began in New York City on Monday.

The new criminal complaint was announced in Los Angeles on Monday, just hours after Weinstein, 67, who recently had back surgery, hobbled into a Manhattan courtroom with a walker for the start of his rape trial there.

The Los Angeles County district attorney said Weinstein had been charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013.

Weinstein faces up to 28 years in prison if convicted.

In New York City, dozens of protesters gathered outside the court on Monday, including several actresses who have accused him of wrongdoing.

Rose McGowan, an actress who has accused Weinstein of sexual assault, called the trial "a moment of justice" even though most of his accusers "won't have even one day in court".

Inside the courtroom, Justice James Burke dealt a blow to Weinstein's defence, ruling that it cannot call as a witness a detective who was accused of withholding evidence from prosecutors that was favourable to the defence.

Jury selection in the trial was set to begin yesterday.

Six women are expected to testify about sexual encounters with Weinstein, though the criminal charges hinge entirely on allegations made by two of them.

 
 

He is charged with raping one woman, who has not been identified, at a Manhattan hotel in March 2013, and forcing a second woman, Ms Mimi Haleyi, a production assistant, to allow him to perform oral sex on her at his apartment in Manhattan in 2006.

He faces one count of rape and one count of criminal sexual act in those cases and, if convicted, could be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years in prison.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2020, with the headline 'New rape, sexual assault charges against Weinstein'. Print Edition | Subscribe