Harvey Weinstein Hit With Additional Sexual Assault Charge in Los Angeles
Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was hit with an additional sexual assault charge in Los Angeles on Friday, stemming from an alleged 2010 incident at a Beverly Hills hotel room.
Weinstein, who is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for rape and sexual assault in New York, is accused ofsexual battery by restraint against a woman in a hotel room on May 11, 2010, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in apress release.
The 68-year-old is already awaiting extradition to Los Angeles and is facing four sex crimes charges for raping one woman and sexually assaulting a second over a two-day period in 2013. The new charge now takes the number of alleged victims in his Los Angeles case to three.
We are continuing to build and strengthen our case, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. As we gather corroborating evidence, we have reached out to other possible sexual assault victims. If we find new evidence of [a] previously unreported crime, as we did here, we will investigate and determine whether additional criminal charges should be filed.
Prosecutors allege the new charge stems from a woman that was first interviewed by detectives in October 2019 as a possible corroborating witness but was able to provide evidence that showed the incident happened within the statute of limitations before the deadline expired next month. The new charge carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison, meaning that Weinstein is now facing a maximum sentence of 29 years in jail.
Despite the new charge and accuser, Los Angeles prosecutors said Friday they declined to file charges on behalf of two other women, stating that both of them did not want to testify against the Oscar winner.
The new charge comes less than a month after Weinstein was sentenced in New York for sexually assaulting Project Runwayproduction assistantMiriam Haleyiand raping former actressJessica Mann.
During his four-week watershed trial in Manhattan, prosecutors argued Weinstein abused his power and prestige in the entertainment industry, preying on women for more than three decades and promising to kickstart their careers in exchange for sex acts.
While over 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and rape throughout his three decades of unfettered power, jurors only heard from six women at the trialtwo alleged victims and four corroborating witnesses.
A majority of the women detailed in court how Weinstein lured them into isolated places to discuss their goals in the entertainment industry before sexually assaulting them. The women all admitted they never told the authorities about the abuse out of embarrassment and fear of career ruin.
Simply put, without these women and others who were willing to come forward, be 100 percent transparent, sacrifice their privacy and wellbeing, the [allegations] would have never been taken in and would have never been successful and the defendant would have never stopped destroying lives, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said at his sentencing. Each of these ladies represents the resilience of every moral person who stands up and says enough.
In addition to Mann and Haleyi, jurors heard from four corroborating witnesses whose allegations fell outside the statute of limitations:Sopranosactress Annabella Sciorra, who said Weinstein violently raped her in her apartment in 1993 or 1994;Dawn Dunning,who said Weinstein sexually assaulted her in 2004;Tarale Wulff, who was allegedly assaulted by the producer a year later; andLauren Young, who was allegedly assaulted in Weinsteins Beverly Hills hotel room days before the 2013 Oscars.
Youngs claims are also included in the Los Angeles sex crime charges, where she is expected to testify again how Weinstein trapped her in a bathroom at the Montage Hotel, stripped naked, and groped her breasts before masturbating onto the floor. She told jurors in New York that as Weinstein masturbatedand ignored her protestshe allegedly said, How am I going to know if you can act? and This is what all actresses do to make it.
I was traumatized, terrified, paranoid, Young said in Manhattan court, adding she was intimidated because he has power and I was scared.
During cross-examination, Weinsteins defense lawyers grilled Young about the timeline of the assault, stating she told prosecutors it happened on three different dates over the span of one year. Claudia Salinas, whom Young alleges facilitated the Feb. 19, 2013, meeting and was on the other side of the bathroom door when she was assaulted, also testified against the actress in New York.
The 38-year-old actress, best known for her role in Crossing Over, denied Youngs allegation, stating she never entered the hotel room, stood outside the bathroom, or saw the producer leave naked after the alleged assault was over. Her complete rebuttal of Youngs allegations is expected to be brought up again during the Los Angeles trial.
Im very sure. If I had done that, I would remember that, Salinas said, calling the whole meeting pretty uneventful. I would never close the door behind anybody, ever.
Weinsteins spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new charge on Friday. The 68-year-old tested positive for coronavirus last month while in prison, however, he has reportedly since recovered.