LOS ANGELES – Harvey Weinstein is reportedly facing a sealed indictment that would expedite his sexual assault trial in Los Angeles and plans to object to the extradition during a hearing in New York Monday.
Weinstein’s LA-based defense attorney Mark Werksman told the New York Daily News that it was unsafe for his 69-year-old client to travel to Los Angeles County in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
“He has severe medical impairments. He has a stenosis of the spine. He can’t walk. He’s in a wheelchair. He has macular degeneration, ”Werksman told the newspaper. “He already has procedures and medical appointments in the system he’s in now.”
The disgraced former Hollywood producer is serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York after he was convicted of a criminal sex act against a former production assistant and raped an aspiring actress. He appeals to this conviction.
Sources reported to the NY Daily News and the Los Angeles Times that the new indictment includes the same 11 counts already filed against Weinstein and covers the same five victims. However, indictment would enable prosecutors to avoid the need for a preliminary hearing.
The prosecution is reportedly revising the dates of crimes against one of the five women, all of whom testified during the grand jury hearings, according to The Times.
Weinstein was charged with the assault by dozens of women and previously charged in Los Angeles with four cases each of rape and violent oral copulation, two cases of sexual battery, and one case of sexual assault during crimes that allegedly took place between 2004 and 2004 in 2013. The first indictments were filed in January 2020 and were last amended in October.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, which said in October that Weinstein could serve up to 140 years in prison if convicted on West Coast charges, did not comment on Monday’s report of charges.
Werksman told The Times that the charges were based on “stale, baseless, unconfirmed, untrustworthy allegations made during the #MeToo movement hysteria,” and expressed confidence that his client would be acquitted due to a lack of credible evidence .