Politics

Harvey Weinstein charged in Los Angeles with rape, sex assault, as movie mogul kicks off rape trial in New York

Key Points
  • Prosecutors in Los Angeles on Monday charged disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein with raping one woman and sexually assaulting a second woman in separate attacks over a two-day period in 2013.
  • The charges were announced hours after Weinstein was heckled as he entered a New York City courthouse for the start of a trial on charges of sexually assaulting two women in New York in separate incidents.
  • The actresses Rose McGowan and Roseanna Arquette are among more than 80 women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. He has denied all claims of forcible conduct.
Harvey Weinstein arrives using a walker at the Manhattan Criminal Court, on January 6, 2020 in New York City.
Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images

Prosecutors in Los Angeles on Monday charged disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein with raping one woman and sexually assaulting a second woman in separate attacks over a two-day period in 2013.

The charges were announced hours after Weinstein was heckled as he entered a New York City courthouse for the start of a trial on charges of raping one woman and sexually assault another women in separate incidents in Manhattan.

LA prosecutors said Weinstein went to a hotel in Los Angeles on Feb. 18, 2013, and raped a woman there after pushing his way into her room.

The next night, he allegedly sexually assaulted the second woman in a hotel suite in Beverly Hills.

Weinstein, who has claimed that all sexual contact he had with women was consensual, faces up to 28 years in prison if convicted in the case.

More than 80 women in all have accused Weintstein of sexual misconduct, but most of their claims are not the subject of criminal prosecutions.

"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," said LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey, whose office is recommending bail of $5 million for Weinstein.

"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."

The LA DA's office has been reviewing as many as nine sexual assault claims invovling Weinstein, NBC News has reported.

The Los Angeles prosecution and the New York trial come more than two years after allegations of serial sexual misdeeds by Weinstein sparked the #MeToo movement.

"Thank God your mother is not here to see this," one of about two dozen protesters yelled at a feeble-looking Weinsten as he hobbled toward Manhattan Criminal Court with the aid of a walker, according to the New York Daily News.

"Mr. Weinstein, are you scared?" another person asked from the crowd, which included people holding signs that said "Listen to Survivors" and "Justice for Surivors."

The 67-year-old Weinstein said nothing in response.

Monday's brief proceedings dealt with legal issues related to Weinstein's trial for alleged sexual crimes against two women.

During that hearing, Judge James Burke ruled that Weinstein's lawyers cannot call as a witness New York Police Det. Nicholas DiGaudio.

DiGaudio allegedly told one of Weinsten's accusers to delete personal cell phone files in order to hide them from prosecutors, the Manhattan District Attorney's office has said.

Burke will allow Weinstein's lawyers to question other witnesses about DiGaudio.

Jury selection in the case is set to begin Tuesday and is expected to take weeks.

Weinstein is accused of raping one of the women in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013. The other woman accused him of forcibly performing a sexual act on her in Manhattan in 2006.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which included four counts of felony predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act and one count apiece of first- and third-degree rape.

He faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison in the case.

A group of 25 of his accusers, among them actresses Rose McGowan and Roseanna Arquette, released a statement last week in anticipation of the trial.

Actress Rose McGowan speaks during a press conference, after Harvey Weinstein arrived at State Supreme Court in Manhattan January 6, 2020 on the first day of his criminal trial on charges of rape and sexual assault in New York City.
Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

"Next week, the world will be watching as Harvey Weinstein walks into court to stand trial for a fraction of the egregious crimes he has committed," the women said.

"Weinstein is a serial predator who sexually abused women for decades, taking advantage of his power and connections to systematically silence the women who could bring his crimes to light."

The statement went on to say that after a number of women went public with their allegations against Weinstein in 2017 in interviews with The New York Times and The New Yorker, "this ugly facade came down and he finally faced a public and professional reckoning for his actions."

"This trial is critical to show that predators everywhere will be held accountable and that speaking up can bring about real change. We refuse to be silenced and will continue to speak out until this unrepentant abuser is brought to justice."

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Accused sexual predator Harvey Weinstein confronted at a NYC bar