Film producer charged with rape in LA as New York trial begins
January 7, 2020 1:56 pm
Harvey Weinstein has been charged with rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles on the same day he appeared in a New York court in a separate case.
The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said the charges related to the alleged sexual assault of two women over two days in 2013.
If convicted, he could face up to 28 years in prison.
The film producer earlier appeared in a New York court, where he faces separate charges of rape and sexual assault.
Jury selection in the New York case began on Monday, with the trial expected to begin properly in about two weeks.
Mr Weinstein has said all his relationships were consensual but admitted that he had “caused a lot of pain”.
His lawyers have vowed to mount an aggressive defence against the allegations he faces, which spurred the #MeToo and Times Up movements against sexual impropriety.
“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,” Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement.
“I want to commend the victims who have come forward and bravely recounted what happened to them,” she added. “It is my hope that all victims of sexual violence find strength and healing as they move forward.”