Weinstein charged with sex crimes in LA on eve of NY trial

  • Harvey Weinstein arrives at federal court, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault. Jury selection begins this week.

    Harvey Weinstein arrives at federal court, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault. Jury selection begins this week. Associated Press

  • Harvey Weinstein leaves State Supreme Court in New York, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault.

    Harvey Weinstein leaves State Supreme Court in New York, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault. Associated Press

  • Harvey Weinstein leaves New York court, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault. Jury selection begins this week.

    Harvey Weinstein leaves New York court, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault. Jury selection begins this week. Associated Press

  • Harvey Weinstein arrives at New York court, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault. Jury selection begins this week.

    Harvey Weinstein arrives at New York court, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault. Jury selection begins this week. Associated Press

  • Actor Rose McGowan is hugged at a news conference outside a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. Weinstein is on trial on charges of rape and sexual assault, more than two years after a torrent of women began accusing him of misconduct.

    Actor Rose McGowan is hugged at a news conference outside a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. Weinstein is on trial on charges of rape and sexual assault, more than two years after a torrent of women began accusing him of misconduct. Associated Press

  • Actors Rosanna Arquette, right, and Rose McGowan hug outside a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020,  in New York. Weinstein is on trial on charges of rape and sexual assault, more than two years after a torrent of women began accusing him of misconduct.

    Actors Rosanna Arquette, right, and Rose McGowan hug outside a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. Weinstein is on trial on charges of rape and sexual assault, more than two years after a torrent of women began accusing him of misconduct. Associated Press

  • Actor Rose McGowan, right, speaks at a news conference as actor Rosanna Arquette, center left, listens outside a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. Weinstein and several women who have accused him of sexual misconduct converged at the New York City courthouse ahead of his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault.

    Actor Rose McGowan, right, speaks at a news conference as actor Rosanna Arquette, center left, listens outside a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. Weinstein and several women who have accused him of sexual misconduct converged at the New York City courthouse ahead of his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault. Associated Press

  • Harvey Weinstein, center, leaves court following a pre trial hearing, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault.

    Harvey Weinstein, center, leaves court following a pre trial hearing, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault. Associated Press

  • Harvey Weinstein, third from right, is surrounded by court officers as he leaves court following a pre trial hearing, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault.

    Harvey Weinstein, third from right, is surrounded by court officers as he leaves court following a pre trial hearing, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault. Associated Press

  • Harvey Weinstein's lead attorney Donna Rotunno speaks to reporters outside court following a pre trial hearing, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault.

    Harvey Weinstein's lead attorney Donna Rotunno speaks to reporters outside court following a pre trial hearing, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault. Associated Press

  • Harvey Weinstein arrives at State Supreme Court in New York, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. Weinstein is on trial on charges of rape and sexual assault, more than two years after a torrent of women began accusing him of misconduct.

    Harvey Weinstein arrives at State Supreme Court in New York, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. Weinstein is on trial on charges of rape and sexual assault, more than two years after a torrent of women began accusing him of misconduct. Associated Press

  • Attorney Gloria Allred waits to enter the courtroom for the Harvey Weinstein trial at State Supreme Court in New York, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. Weinstein is on trial on charges of rape and sexual assault, more than two years after a torrent of women began accusing him of misconduct.

    Attorney Gloria Allred waits to enter the courtroom for the Harvey Weinstein trial at State Supreme Court in New York, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. Weinstein is on trial on charges of rape and sexual assault, more than two years after a torrent of women began accusing him of misconduct. Associated Press

  • FILE - This Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, file photo shows producer Harvey Weinstein, left, and fashion designer Georgina Chapman arriving to the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Los Angeles prosecutors charged Weinstein on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, with sexually assaulting two women on successive nights during Oscar week in 2013, bringing the new case against the disgraced Hollywood mogul on the eve of jury selection for his New York trial. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File)

    FILE - This Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, file photo shows producer Harvey Weinstein, left, and fashion designer Georgina Chapman arriving to the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Los Angeles prosecutors charged Weinstein on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, with sexually assaulting two women on successive nights during Oscar week in 2013, bringing the new case against the disgraced Hollywood mogul on the eve of jury selection for his New York trial. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP, File) Associated Press

  • Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, at podium, announces that film producer Harvey Weinstein has been charged with raping a woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013, at a news conference at the Hall of Justice in Los Angeles, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. From left, Paul Thompson, Los Angeles County District Deputy Attorney, Lacey, Michel Moore, Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, and Sandra Spagnoli, Chief of Police, Beverly Hills, Calif.

    Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, at podium, announces that film producer Harvey Weinstein has been charged with raping a woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013, at a news conference at the Hall of Justice in Los Angeles, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. From left, Paul Thompson, Los Angeles County District Deputy Attorney, Lacey, Michel Moore, Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, and Sandra Spagnoli, Chief of Police, Beverly Hills, Calif. Associated Press

  • Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, right, at podium, announces that film producer Harvey Weinstein has been charged with raping a woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013, at a news conference at the Hall of Justice in Los Angeles, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. From left, Michel Moore, Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, and Sandra Spagnoli, Chief of Police, Beverly Hills, Calif., and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office's Bureau of Investigation Chief John Neu.

    Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, right, at podium, announces that film producer Harvey Weinstein has been charged with raping a woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013, at a news conference at the Hall of Justice in Los Angeles, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. From left, Michel Moore, Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, and Sandra Spagnoli, Chief of Police, Beverly Hills, Calif., and Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office's Bureau of Investigation Chief John Neu. Associated Press

  • Rosanna Arquette speaks at a news conference outside a Manhattan courthouse after Harvey Weinstein arrived, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. Behind her are, left to right, Louise Godbold, Dominique Huett, Sarah Ann Masse, Paula Williams, Rose McGowan, and Lauren Sivan. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault.

    Rosanna Arquette speaks at a news conference outside a Manhattan courthouse after Harvey Weinstein arrived, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. Behind her are, left to right, Louise Godbold, Dominique Huett, Sarah Ann Masse, Paula Williams, Rose McGowan, and Lauren Sivan. The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations of rape and sexual assault. Associated Press

  • Actor Rose McGowan makes her way through the crowd at a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. Weinstein and several women who have accused him of sexual misconduct converged at the New York City courthouse ahead of his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault.

    Actor Rose McGowan makes her way through the crowd at a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020, in New York. Weinstein and several women who have accused him of sexual misconduct converged at the New York City courthouse ahead of his trial on charges of rape and sexual assault. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/6/2020 7:27 PM

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles prosecutors charged Harvey Weinstein on Monday with sexually assaulting two women on successive nights during Oscars week in 2013, bringing the new case against the disgraced Hollywood mogul on the eve of jury selection for his New York trial.

The case, brought by a task force set up by the Los Angeles County district attorney to investigate sex-crime allegations against entertainment figures, now puts Weinstein in deep legal peril on both coasts, where he built a career as the one of the most powerful - and feared - figures in show business before a barrage of accusations from more than 75 women led to his downfall and ignited the #MeToo movement.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Weinstein, 67, was charged with raping a woman at a Los Angeles hotel on Feb. 18, 2013, after pushing his way inside her room, then sexually assaulting a woman in a Beverly Hills hotel suite the next night. He could get up to 28 years in prison on charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery.

"We see you, we hear you and we believe you'Ě' District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in announcing the charges, addressing herself to the studio boss's accusers.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said the charges open the "next chapter" for a man 'úwho has gotten away with too much for too long,'Ě while Beverly Hills Chief Sandra Spagnoli called the cases 'úhorrendous crimes perpetrated by a sexual predator.'Ě

Lawyers for Weinstein had no immediate comment on the new charges, though he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Jury selection is set to begin Tuesday in the New York case, in which Weinstein is charged with raping a woman in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing a sex act on another woman in 2006. He has said any sexual activity was consensual. If convicted of the most serious charges, predatory sexual assault, he faces a mandatory life sentence.

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"The walls of justice are closing in on Harvey Weinstein. He is now being prosecuted both in New York and Los Angeles," celebrity attorney Gloria Allred exulted in a statement. Allred represents one of the alleged victims in the New York case as well as actress Annabella Sciorra, who is scheduled to testify against Weinstein in New York.

She added: 'úWomen are no longer willing to suffer in silence and are willing to testify under oath in a court of law.'Ě

The charges announced Monday in Los Angeles took more than two years to file because the women were reluctant to provide all the information necessary, according to Lacey. The alleged attacks follow a pattern similar to the offenses described in the New York case, dozens of lawsuits and women's accounts to media outlets.

The first accuser is an Italian actress, according to her attorney, David Ring. The woman, who asked that her name not be used, said in court documents that Weinstein arrived uninvited at her hotel on the night in question, forced her to perform oral sex on him and raped her, then threatened her life if she disclosed the attack, according to court documents.

Ring said in a statement Monday that his client "values her privacy, but will do what is necessary to obtain justice for what Weinstein did to her in 2013.'Ě

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The second woman said she had agreed to meet Weinstein for a business meeting at his Beverly Hills hotel and was unwittingly led into the bathroom of his suite, where a naked Weinstein prevented her from leaving, took down her dress and masturbated as he held her in place by her breast, court papers said.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they have been victims of sexual assault, unless they agree to be named.

The task force is still investigating sex-crime allegations against Weinstein from three women, the district attorney said. Prosecutors said they declined to bring charges involving three other women because the cases were beyond the statute of limitations.

Lacey, along with the two police chiefs, urged other victims to come forward. "We need the voices of all victims to help us remove sexual predators from our community and protect others from these violent crimes," she said.

Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his trial in New York is finished, Lacey said. She said prosecutors will recommend $5 million bail.

The district attorney said the timing of the Los Angeles charges was unrelated to the New York trial, explaining that the filing and the announcement came on the first business day on which all the necessary people could be gathered.

Neither woman has stepped forward publicly. But one is expected to testify in the New York case as part of an effort by prosecutors to portray Weinstein as a sexual predator with a habit of forcing himself on young actresses and women trying to break into Hollywood.

The alleged attacks in Los Angeles County came days before the Hollywood producer was photographed on the Oscars red carpet with his fashion designer wife, Georgina Chapman, who was pregnant at the time.

At the 2013 Academy Awards, Weinstein had several major contenders, including 'úSilver Linings Playbook,'Ě 'úDjango Unchained'Ě and 'úThe Master.'Ě His movies took home an armful of Oscars, including Jennifer Lawrence's first Academy Award and trophies for director Quentin Tarantino and actor Christoph Waltz.

At the time, the allegations against Weinstein were little more than rumors around Hollywood. When that year's nominees were announced, emcee Seth MacFarlane joked after reading the list of contenders for best supporting actress: 'úCongratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.'Ě

The charges are the first to be brought by the task force in the two years since it was formed. It has investigated more than 20 men, many of them prominent actors and producers, but declined to file charges in nearly all, usually citing statutes of limitations.

Earlier in the day Monday, Weinstein and several of the women who have accused him converged at a New York City courthouse for final preparations for his trial.

Weinstein's attorneys suggested they knew the additional charges might be coming - 'úThere is a potential L.A. situation going on,'Ě his lawyer Donna Rotunno told reporters - and asked the judge to sequester the potential jurors to shield them from the news. Judge James Burke refused and also declined to impose a gag order to prevent Weinstein's attorneys from speaking to the media.

Across the street, actresses and other women who say they were sexually harassed or assaulted by Weinstein branded him a villain undeserving of anyone's pity.

'úHe looked cowardly. He wouldn't look at us. He wouldn't make eye contact,'Ě said Sarah Ann Masse, a performer and writer who said Weinstein once sexually harassed her in his underwear during a job interview. 'úThis trial is a cultural reckoning regardless of its legal outcome.'Ě

Rotunno said she was hopeful a fair jury could be found: 'úIn this great country, you are innocent until proven guilty."

After a string of successes at Miramax and Weinstein Co. with movies such as 'úPulp Fiction" 'úShakespeare in Love'Ě and 'úThe King's Speech,'Ě the studio boss met his downfall when many of the allegations against him were brought to light by The New York Times and The New Yorker in October 2017.

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Hays and Sisak reported from New York. Associated Press writers Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles and Jake Coyle in New York contributed to this story.

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This story has been corrected to show that Weinstein was charged, not indicted.

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