As his criminal trial is poised to get underway in New York City, Harvey Weinstein on Monday was charged with additional sex crimes — this time in Southern California — following a lengthy investigation, prosecutors said.
The disgraced Hollywood mogul is accused of sexually assaulting two women on consecutive days nearly seven years ago, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
— Jackie Lacey (@LADAOffice) January 6, 2020
On Feb. 18, 2013, Weinstein allegedly raped a woman after forcing himself into her Los Angeles hotel room, a DA’s news release stated.
The next day, he allegedly sexually assaulted a second woman at a Beverly Hills hotel suite, prosecutors said.
Weinstein, 67, has been charged with one count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint, DA Jackie Lacey said at a late morning news conference Monday.
Lacey announced the charges on the same day that Weinstein appeared in a Manhattan courtroom in connection with separate rape and sexual assault charges.
Jury selection in the New York trial is expected to start Tuesday, more than two years since the allegations first came to widespread public attention and catalyzed the #MeToo movement.
Weinstein is accused of raping one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.
He has pleaded not guilty to those charges and has maintained that any sexual activity was consensual. If he’s convicted of the most serious charges against him, two counts of predatory sexual assault, Weinstein faces a mandatory life sentence.
In the L.A. case, the maximum sentence Weinstein could face is up to 28 years in state prison, Lacey said.
Prosecutors have recommended his bail be set at $5 million.
But the defendant won’t appear in an L.A. courtroom to answer to the charges until the case against him in New York concludes, according to Lacey.
She noted the criminal charges are the first stemming from a task force that was created by her office in November 2017 in response to a wave of sexual allegations against figures in the entertainment industry.
Both of Weinstein’s alleged victims told at least one other person about the incidents in 2013, according to Lacey. They contacted the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments respectively in 2017 — the same year the task force was established.
Of the more than 40 cases that have been reported since then, eight involved Weinstein, Lacey said.
Prosecutors declined to file charges in three of those cases because they fell outside the statute of limitations. But allegations brought by three other women are still being investigated and could result in additional charges against the defendant, according to the DA.
“I want to commend the victims who have come forward and bravely recounted what happened to them,” Lacey said.
Of the other cases not involving Weinstein, she stated that criminal charges were declined because there was either “insufficient credible evidence” or the alleged crimes were beyond the statute of limitations.
“I want victims to know that just because we may lack sufficient evidence to charge their assailant, it does not mean that a crime did not occur. It simply means that the evidence was not strong enough to meet our filing standards,” Lacey said. “To those victims, I want to you to know we see you, we hear you and we believe you.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.