LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Just a day after being extradited from New York to Los Angeles, disgraced former film mogul and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein appeared in a downtown courtroom to face charges that he sexually assaulted five women in the L.A. area.
Weinstein pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of sexual assault in L.A. County Superior Court. He is being held without bail.
After a long extradition fight, the 69-year-old Weinstein was released by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Tuesday morning and flown to Burbank Airport. He was subsequently booked into the Twin Towers Correctional Facility without bond.
A New York judge in June approved Weinstein’s extradition to California, denying his lawyers’ request to keep him at a state prison near Buffalo — where he is serving a 23-year sentence for a rape conviction last year — until the start of jury selection in the L.A. case. His lawyers had claimed that he was not medically fit to travel.
In January of 2020, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office charged Weinstein with sexually assaulting two women at L.A.-area hotels. L.A. County prosecutors filed additional charges last April alleging he sexually assaulted a third woman at a Beverly Hills hotel. In October, they filed more charges claiming he sexually assaulted two more women in Beverly Hills.
All five alleged crimes occurred between 2004 and 2013. He faces 11 criminal counts, including four counts each of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint and one count of sexual penetration by use of force.
Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred represents two of the alleged L.A. victims and several witnesses in the New York case.
“It just takes so much courage for them to testify,” Allred told CBSLA Tuesday. “There’s no financial benefit to them to do that, they’re just doing that for the cause of justice.”
In March of 2020, Weinstein was convicted by a jury in New York City on charges that he raped an aspiring actress in 2013 in a Manhattan hotel room and forcibly performed oral sex on a TV and film production assistant in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment.
He could face a potential maximum of 140 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged. Weinstein is reportedly facing a sealed indictment in L.A. involving those same charges that would allow prosecutors to move forward more quickly with his trial. There was no preliminary hearing in the case.
“It’s a way of moving a case more quickly, and it’s a way of avoiding a preliminary hearing,” CBS2 legal analyst Steve Meister said. “It does deny the defense a chance to cross-examine witnesses and victims before they go to trial.”
His next hearing is scheduled for July 29.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.)