Convicted former movie producer Harvey Weinstein will remain in a New York prison for now after his lawyers and prosecutors agreed Friday to postpone efforts to send him to California to face sexual assault charges.
Weinstein appeared via video from prison before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case, who, because of the worsening pandemic, agreed to postpone Weinstein’s extradition hearing until April 9.
Seated at a table at the maximum-security Wende Correctional Facility east of Buffalo, Weinstein, wearing a maroon polo shirt and face mask, spoke only briefly in response to a series of questions from the judge. He waved his hand and shook his head in objection to a news station’s request to allow a television camera in the courtroom. The judge kept the camera out but allowed media to record the video proceedings.
“We’re not looking for publicity, judge,” Weinstein’s attorney, Norman Effman, said.
Weinstein, 68, is serving a 23-year prison sentence after being convicted in New York City earlier this year on charges of rape and sexual assault against two women.
He faces similar charges involving five women in California, stemming from alleged assaults in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013.
Because Weinstein is imprisoned in New York, a judge must sign off on transferring him to the custody of Los Angeles authorities to be tried there.
Effman cited Weinstein’s health in supporting the continued delay of the extradition proceedings originally scheduled for August.
Weinstein survived a bout with the coronavirus in March at the prison. His lawyers said he experienced symptoms of COVID-19 again in mid-November but did not test positive for the disease at that time.
“Obviously, the pandemic has become worse rather than better,” Effman said. “The issues pertaining to transportation of someone from New York to California, and specifically with respect to Mr. Weinstein’s own very serious health conditions, remains the same.”
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office agreed to the first delay because of the pandemic as well.