Harvey Weinstein, the 69-year-old American film producer serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York state prison for sex crimes, will soon be extradited to face sexual assault charges in Los Angeles after a New York judge made a ruling to that effect on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Since October 2017, more than 80 women have 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 movement 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 sexual assault. Following a trial in the Manhattan Supreme Court, he was sentenced to 23 years of imprisonment for mainly two cases: 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.
He has been kept in the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo, NY since Spring 2020 under maximum security.
In April this year, citing medical health problems, 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.
Meanwhile, he was charged with several cases in California in 2020 for crimes in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013, and he was formally indicted on April 11, 2021.
On April 12, the Los Angeles district attorney’s office sought Weinstein’s extradition for trial on 11 charges, involving five unnamed women.
During his indictment, it was revealed that the Los Angeles County jury had indicted Weinstein on four counts of forcible rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery and one count of sexual penetration by force.
After Weinstein and his legal team delayed and challenged his extradition multiple times since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and citing health problems, the Erie County, New York, Court Judge Kenneth Case finally rejected their arguments on Tuesday and ordered his extradition.
Weinstein continues to plead not guilty, claiming that any kind of sexual activity was consensual.