The coronavirus outbreak has indefinitely delayed the planned extradition of fallen movie mogul Harvey Weinstein from a New York state prison to face rape and other sex crime charges in Los Angeles, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Weinstein, who was convicted at trial in New York earlier this year of rape and sex assault in attacks involving two women, is charged in Los Angeles with raping one woman and sexually assaulting a second one there over a two-day period in 2013.
He was sentenced to 23 years in prison during a Manhattan court hearing on March 11, which occurred shortly before New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo implemented an effective statewide lockdown of many nonessential services due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Just hours after his sentencing, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office said it had began the process of having Weinstein, 68, extradited to California so that he can face the charges there.
But the DA's office, in a statement Tuesday to NBC News, said, "The virus has delayed the processing of the extradition paperwork."
"There is no time estimate on when he will appear in a Los Angeles courtroom," the prosecutors' office said.
Weinstein's spokesman declined to comment.
Weinstein, who is locked up in the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, has said he is innocent of the criminal accusations against him.
When he was convicted by a jury in February, Weinstein said to his lawyer, Arthur Aidala, 'I'm innocent, I'm innocent, I'm innocent. How could this happen in America?," Aidala has told reporters.
Weinstein for years had been a powerful Hollywood producer of such films as "Pulp Fiction," "Shakespeare in Love" and "Gangs of New York."
But exposes about allegations of his serial sexual misconduct of women that were published by The New Yorker and The New York Times toppled Weinstein from his Tinseltown perch, and ultimately led to a slew of women making complaints about him to police and prosecutors.
The news articles about Weinstein are also credited with igniting the #MeToo movement, which has seen a number of prominent men lose their jobs after being accused of sexual misdeeds.