Harvey Weinstein, the American film producer serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York state prison, challenged his extradition to California on Monday where he has been indicted of new sexual assault and rape charges, the Associated Press reported.
Since October 2017, more than 80 women accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, following which he was dismissed from Miramax, the production company he had co-founded with his brother Bob Weinstein, and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science.
Weinstein’s conviction was a shot in the arm for the #MeToo social media campaign that witnessed women across the globe coming out with allegations of sexual misconduct and assault at the workplace against powerful men.
After nearly two years of allegations of serial sexual harassments, in February 2020, Weinstein was convicted of rape and other sex crimes.
Following a trial in the Manhattan Supreme Court, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years of imprisonment for mainly two cases- for committing a first-degree criminal sexual act when he forcibly performed oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006, and the other for committing third-degree rape where he attacked aspiring actor Jessica Mann in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013.
On April Weinstein’s lawyer filed a 166-page appeal on his conviction of rape and other sex crimes claiming that he did not receive a fair trial. They also argued that at the age of 69, with multiple health problems, the sentence was “harsh and excessive” and claimed that Weinstein was denied his right to trial by Jury James Burke was impartial.
On Monday, Weinstein appeared in the court via a video call from the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo where he has been kept since spring 2020 with maximum security.
The Los Angeles district attorney’s office sought Weinstein’s extradition for trial on 11 charges, that involves five unnamed women which are offensive to 140-years imprisonment. Though he was charged in 2020 in the cases in California for the crimes in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013, he was finally indicted on April 11. The extradition was delayed several times in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Weinstein continues to plead not guilty, claiming that any kind of sexual activity was consensual.
Challenging the extradition, Weinstein’s lawyer Norman Effman requested the court for a “humanitarian” delay in extradition considering the convict’s medical conditions and argued that since the criminal complaint was replaced by the indictment, the initial transfer request is incomplete.
Weinstein’s lawyer demanded a delay in the extradition mentioning that he has two scheduled medical procedures including eye surgery and a dental procedure as he is “technically blind at this point” and had “lost four teeth while behind bars”.
Though the New York court rejected Weinstein’s medical needs during the Monday hearing, the court granted his request for another hearing and scheduled it for April 30.