Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty ahead of rape trial in Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the rape and sexual assault charges of five women in Los Angeles ahead of a second trial on sex crimes charges, prosecutors said.

Weinstein, 69, dressed in a brown prison uniform after being extradited from New York on Tuesday, made his first appearance in a wheelchair to Los Angeles Superior Court, where he is serving 23 years in prison for rape and other sex offenses. Was.

Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone and is appealing New York’s conviction and sentence.

In Los Angeles, he faced 11 charges of assaulting five women between 2004 and 2013. They include forced rape, forced oral sex, sexual battery from abstinence and sexual penetration by use of force. If convicted, Weinstein could spend the rest of his life in prison.

After filing his not-guilty plea through his attorney on Wednesday, Weinstein was ordered to remain in prison until the next hearing on July 29, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office said in a statement.

His lawyer said he would seek quashing of the three charges on the ground that the statute of limitations had expired.

Once one of Hollywood’s most powerful men, Weinstein is accused of raping two women on separate occasions at hotels in Beverly Hills and sexually assaulting three other women in the Beverly Hills or Los Angeles areas.

He was fighting for extradition on medical grounds, citing diabetes and heart, back and eye problems.

More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct decades ago, but only a handful of charges have resulted in criminal charges.

He co-founded Miramax Film Studios, whose hits included “Shakespeare in Love” and “Pulp Fiction”. His film studio filed for bankruptcy in March 2018.

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