LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein Monday pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting five women in Los Angeles over a nine-year period.
Weinstein pleaded not guilty in a downtown L.A. courtroom to 11 counts, including a restored charge of sexual battery by restraint that had been dismissed by a judge.
Weinstein is charged with sexually assaulting five women at L.A. area hotels from 2004 to 2013.
Overall, he faces 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.
The latest grand jury indictment, handed up Aug. 18, charges Weinstein again with the challenged count of sexual battery by restraint against a woman in May 2010. It marked the third time the prosecution has asked the grand jury to amend the indictment against the 69-year-old Weinstein, who was initially indicted in March on the 11 counts involving the five women.
After months of legal wrangling, Weinstein was extradited July 20 from New York, where he has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for raping an aspiring actress and a criminal sex act against a former production assistant.
He was brought into a downtown L.A. courtroom in a wheelchair a day later, with one of his attorneys entering a not guilty plea on his behalf. He remains jailed without bail.
In January of 2020, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office charged Weinstein with sexually assaulting two women at L.A.-area hotels. 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.
The grand jury subsequently indicted Weinstein on the same charges.
Weinstein is due back in court Oct. 25.
“We intend to challenge the contents of this indictment, as well as an effort by the prosecution to introduce evidence of other uncharged alleged victims in this case,” one of Weinstein’s attorneys, Mark Werksman, told reporters outside court following the hearing. “We’re going to try like hell to make sure he gets a fair trial, but it’s tough. It’s tough, especially when you have the people, as I mentioned, basically training a water cannon of uncharged allegations at him. They’re trying to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at him, and we’re trying to limit the evidence that’s presented so that it’s fair, so that it’s admissible and so that Mr. Weinstein can get a fair trial, but that’s a challenge.”
The disgraced movie mogul, who co-founded Miramax with his brother, produced such films as “Shakespeare in Love” and “Pulp Fiction.”
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)