Jan 3, 2023
Disgraced Hollywood media mogul Harvey Weinstein is reportedly en route to Los Angeles today, and could make his first court appearance later this week in Los Angeles following rape and sexual assault charges. The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision confirmed that the convicted rapist was handed over to California officials early Tuesday morning.
“This morning at approximately 9:25 custody of Mr. Harvey Weinstein was handed over to the appropriate officials for transport to the state of California per a court order,” a spokesman said.
Last month, a New York judge approved the extradition to Los Angeles County, ensuring the former movie producer would face additional sexual assault charges.
Weinstein faces a total of 11 counts of sexual assault in Los Angeles County involving five women. The attacks allegedly took place in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. According to prosecutors, the incidents occurred between 2004 and 2013.
Weinstein has been serving a 23-year sentence at the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo since a Manhattan grand jury convicted him of first-degree criminal sex act and third-degree rape in February 2020.
“I am disappointed that the [district attorney] didn’t wait for the judge to rule on our habeas petition before transporting Harvey here, but we will continue to fight to assure that Harvey gets the crucial medical care he needs,” Mark Werksman, an attorney for Weinstein, reportedly said.
The New York Daily News reported that the 69-year-old’s attorneys had “doggedly attempted to delay the transfer citing Weinstein’s deteriorating health in lockup.” Weinstein’s lawyers claim he’s now partially blind and requires round-the-clock medical attention.
As the Daily News confirmed, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office indicated earlier this month that Weinstein would not suffer any disruptions in his medical care as a result of the transportation, which is reportedly by plane.
California law stipulates that Weinstein’s trial on sexual assault charges must happen within 120 days of his extradition (making court proceedings necessary by mid-November).
In April, a Los Angeles grand jury 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. All five women accusing Weinstein of assault testified at the hearings. However, as the Los Angeles Times reported, transcripts of those proceedings remain under seal.
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The Times also reported that the only Weinstein accuser whose identity has been made public is Lauren Young, a model, actress, and writer. Young was meeting with Weinstein at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills in 2013 to discuss a script she had written when the convicted rapist allegedly stripped, masturbated in front of her, pulled down her dress, and groped her breast before she was able to finally flee.
“I stood there in shock… and I went to the door. By that point he was already undressed and he stepped in front of me with his naked body… I felt so trapped,” Young said during her testimony in the 2020 New York trial.
“The girl that invited me [Claudia Salinas] closed the door, she left me there, that’s when I realized, ‘this was set up, she put me in here,'” Young said, her voice breaking, according to a USA Today report.
Weinstein’s numerous sexual assaults came to light in 2017, sparking worldwide attention in the #MeToo Movement.
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As Dordulian noted in a previous blog, the February 2020 Weinstein verdict was a “paradigm shift for sexual assault survivors.”
“Previously, the problem you would often encounter with high-powered celebrities accused of sexual abuse is that they had access to not only the best defense, but also the press. So they were constantly directing the narrative and essentially tainting the jury pool,” Dordulian said.
“I think what you saw with the Weinstein verdict was this shift where the tendency is now, as it should be, to not only believe survivors who come forward, but also understand that the process is very personal, and it can take a significant number of years before one feels comfortable doing so. I think we still have a great deal of progress to make in terms of reducing sexual abuse and increasing reporting, but we’re continuing to see positive change. And with more and more women coming forward to expose high-profile predators, I think that will only continue.”
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With DLG, survivors of sexual assault have 24/7 access to our four-tiered Sexual Assault Justice Experts Team (SAJE). In addition to Dordulian’s legal expertise – with more than 100 jury trial victories throughout his decorated career – DLG’s sexual assault survivor clients have the opportunity to access added advantages that can be critical in helping to ease the stress that sometimes comes with navigating a civil lawsuit.
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Contact DLG today online or by phone at 818-322-4056 for a free consultation or to discuss your legal options after a sexual assault incident. At DLG, we believe survivors, and we fight to ensure they receive the justice they deserve in the form a maximum financial damages award.
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