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Harvey Weinstein Getty Court 10.jpg

Convicted Rapist Harvey Weinstein Pleads Not Guilty to Sexual Assaults in Los Angeles

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | July 22, 2021 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | July 22, 2021 |


Harvey Weinstein Getty Court 10.jpg

Harvey Weinstein made his first court appearance in Los Angeles on Wednesday to plead not guilty to 11 counts of rape and sexual assault. Weinstein, a convicted rapist currently serving a 23-year jail sentence in New York, was extradited to California on Tuesday and is being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown L.A.

Weinstein, who was found guilty in February 2020, did not speak during the hearing except to say “thank you very much” to the judge, who wished him “good luck.” He appeared in court in a wheelchair with his hands shackled to the armrests. His lawyers tried to fight the extradition process, claiming that Weinstein was too ill to make the journey. His main attorney, Mark Werksman, also said that he would file paperwork to challenge three of the 11 counts on the grounds of the expired statute of limitations.

Outside the court, Werksman told the press that the charges were too old to prosecute and that “they are not corroborated by any scientific evidence […] We are confident that if we can have a fair trial, Mr. Weinstein will be acquitted.” Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents two of the accusers, said that the age of the alleged incidents should not matter. She told reporters, “Allegations of sexual assault and rape do take a long time to report, so the idea that they may not have disclosed to a law enforcement officer for many years does not mean that those are not credible.”

In L.A., Weinstein faces allegations from five women, dating from 2004 to 2013. The specific charges are: four counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint, and one count of sexual penetration by use of force. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 140 years in prison. This trial comes after months of COVID-related delays which led to a major backlog in the courts.

Weinstein’s attorneys are still fighting to get his New York convictions overturned. After what happened with Bill Cosby, is anyone else just absolutely f**king petrified over this? I refuse to be surprised by anything these days.

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Kayleigh is a features writer and editor for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.



Header Image Source: JOHANNES EISELE // AFP via Getty Images