After months of delays, Harvey Weinstein is finally on his way to Los Angeles to face multiple rape charges.
Facing up to a 140 years behind bars if found guilty in the California courts, the already incarcerated producer was bundled on to a plane in upstate New York early this morning for his extradition to the City of Angeles. “This morning at approximately 9:25 (AM ET) custody of Mr. Harvey Weinstein was handed over to the appropriate officials for transport to the state of California per a court order,” aNew York State Department of Corrections spokesman confirmed in a prepared statement.
Still in flight, Weinstein is expected to be arraignment Wednesday in LA Superior Court. Barring any sudden change of plans, the 69-year old convicted sex offender will remain out West in DTLA’s Twin Towers jail from his previous abode in the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo, NY until the LA proceedings are over – which will likely be months.
The case may take a while, but local prosecutors have to bring the matter to trial within 120 days under extradition protocols. The LA County D.A.’s office did not return request for comment today on Weinstein’s extradition.
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Regardless of if the D.A.’s team is talking now or not, the reality is Weinstein faces four counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, one count of sexual penetration by use of force, plus two counts of sexual battery by restraint and sexual battery in incidents involving five women from 2004-2013 in LA County.
Seeking the media spotlight in an what was ultimately an unsuccessful election year, the charges were first announced by then L.A. DA Jackie Lacey on January 6, 2020, the very day that Weinstein’s Manhattan sex crimes trial started, with more added later. In April of this year, current L.A. DA George Gascón’s office conveyed a grand jury and 11 new courts of sexual assault were levied against Weinstein, mirroring in many ways the previous charges that the Pulp Fiction EP already faced. That indictment will surely be formally unsealed at some point n the
Even though a NY State judge ruled last month that the Weinstein would be heading out to LA, the producer’s lawyers and reps were caught somewhat by surprise this morning with the actual move after a long-ish court battle to stop or halt the extradition.
“In April we were trying to negotiate an agreement to waive extradition for transfer to LA on June 15th,” said a Weinstein spokesperson to Deadline. “We are disappointed that the LA DA didn’t wait for the judge’s ruling, but we did expect this to happen at some point. We will be fighting so that Harvey can receive his needed medical care and of course, so that he can be treated fairly. Due process, presumption of innocence and a fair trial are all still his right.”
The West Coast isn’t the only place Weinstein is involved in literally life or death legal proceedings. Back in April, the constantly ailing Weinstein filed his long-anticipated appeal on the 23-year sentence he began serving on March 11, 2020 after being found guilty of two sex crime felony charges in the Empire State. The office of retiring Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. has not filed a response to that appeal, yet.
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