New judicial blow to Harvey Weinstein. Whoever was the all-powerful Hollywood producer will be extradited to California to face a new trial for sexual abuse. Weinstein’s defense had fought firmly to prevent the transfer to the west, but this mars the Erie County Judge, Kenneth Case, has ruled in favor of the Los Angeles County authorities who claimed the presence of the sexual predator to try him locally . Weinstein raised his hands to his face in regret after hearing the togade’s decision remotely from Buffalo Prison in northwestern New York State.
Harvey Weinstein /
Weinstein, 69, faces at least seven charges for sex crimes committed in California between 2004 and 2013. At least four are for rape or forcing women to have sex or oral sex with him. The former producer was sentenced in New York to 23 years in prison in March 2020. The sentence came after a highly publicized trial that featured the testimony of six women, who helped build the strength of the #MeToo movement. The jury found the filmmaker guilty in February of last year on two counts, one for a sex offense for forcing a production assistant to perform oral sex on him and for the third-degree rape (without consent) of actress Jessica Mann. In all, more than 90 women have accused Weinstein of abuse or rape.
If found guilty at the second trial, Weinstein will have to serve his sentence first in New York and then be transferred back to California to exhaust a new sentence.
Weinstein’s defense wanted the producer to stay in New York. His lawyers filed a motion in April that sought to keep his client in a prison in the northeast of the state, for health reasons. The lawyers then assured that the former producer needed to continue a treatment, which includes two alleged operations, due to vision problems that had him practically blind. The legal team had also complained that the documentation submitted by the California judicial authorities had errors and that the producer could participate in the new process remotely by teleconference. Case has not given importance to these arguments on Tuesday and gave the reason to a local prosecutor who recalled that the defendant has refused medical treatment while in prison.
“We are disappointed with the judge’s decision,” said Mark Werksman, Weinstein’s California attorney. The lawyer has advanced this Tuesday that they will appeal the decision of Judge Case and that they will request a habeas corpus to the local Supreme Court to stop the transfer arguing the health of his client and the “urgent” medical attention he needs. Weinstein’s health problems were used as a legal strategy throughout the New York trial.
The prosecution of Erie County, the region where the New York prison is located, has calculated that Weinstein’s extradition would take place at least until July. After the transfer, the former producer will wait for the trial, still undated, in a hospital inside a Los Angeles County prison. The laws of the State indicate that the trial must take place no later than 120 days after the extradition of the accused.