LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) – Los Angeles County prosecutors Monday charged disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013.
Weinstein was charged with one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint, according to L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office.
The charges are the result of a investigation launched by a 2017 task force to review multiple sexual abuse allegations against several major entertainment industry figures, including Weinstein.
Arraignment will be scheduled for a later date.
Lacey held an 11 a.m news conference to announce the charges.
“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,” Lacey said. “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.”
Prosecutors say on Feb. 18, 2013, Weinstein allegedly went to a hotel and raped a woman after pushing his way inside her room.
The following evening, Weinstein sexually assaulted a woman at a hotel suite in Beverly Hills, according to prosecutors.
Weinstein was in a downtown Manhattan courtroom Monday as jury selection was set to get underway ahead of his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault. Weinstein faces charges of first-degree rape, two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of first-degree sexual assault and one count of third-degree rape.
Dozens of women, including actresses Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong’o and Ashley Judd, have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, while actresses Asia Argento, Rose McGowan and others have accused the Oscar winner of raping them.
A tentative global settlement reached this month would split $25 million among more than two dozen of Weinstein’s accusers. The deal wouldn’t require him to pay anything out of his own pocket and he wouldn’t have to admit wrongdoing.
Last week, a former model who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was 16 filed a new lawsuit, saying the tentative settlement wasn’t “fair or just.” Kaja Sokola sued under New York’s Child Victims Act, which gives people a one-year window to sue over sexual abuse that they say they endured as children.
L.A. County prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $5 million. If convicted as charged, Weinstein faces up to 28 years in state prison.