Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has been indicted by a jury in Los Angeles, his defense attorney confirmed in a New York court Monday, after the coronavirus pandemic pushed back the California prosecutors’ previous extradition efforts.
Weinstein defense attorney Norman Effman confirmed during an Erie County, New York, virtual hearing Monday Weinstein was secretly indicted on 11 counts of sexual assault in Los Angeles County, a move meant to speed up the process of going to trial by allowing procecutors to skip a preliminary hearing, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Effman argued Monday that extradition, which Los Angeles prosecutors have requested, would be “disruptive” to Weinstein’s medical needs — he is scheduled to undergo several procedures in the near future, including a surgery to address his deteriorated eyesight and dental work, along with continuing health issues related to Weinstein’s back, heart and diabetes.
Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case pushed back Weintein’s possible extradition until another hearing later this month to give Effman more time to file court documents on behalf of Weinstein.
Weinstein is facing 11 charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual battery and sexual penetration by force in Los Angeles, all linked to five women Weinstein allegedly assaulted between 2005 and 2013, said prosecutors.
Los Angeles authorities have been trying to get Weinstein to Los Angeles to stand trial for his alleged crimes since last year, after he was sentenced for similar crimes in New York.
Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison after being convicted of rape last year in Manhattan. Since then, Weinstein has been at Wende Correctional Facility in upstate New York’s Erie County, where Monday’s virtual hearing was held. Last week, he filed to appeal both his rape conviction and prison sentence, claiming negative media attention and led to him being unfairly convicted. Allegations by women against Weinstein published by The New Yorker and the New York Times in 2017 helped kick off the #MeToo movement that led to a nationwide reckoning of sexual misconduct by powerful men in a range of industries.