Harvey Weinstein faces new sexual assault charge in Los Angeles
Former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, weeks after being sent to prison in New York and already facing prosecution in Los Angeles, has been charged with an additional count of sexual assault in connection with the alleged 2010 attack of a woman at a Beverly Hills hotel, Los Angeles County prosecutors announced Friday.
Weinstein, who was previously charged with four counts of forcible sexual assault and battery in L.A., will now face an additional charge of sexual battery by restraint in connection with a May 2010 incident, Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey said in a statement.
“We are continuing to build and strengthen our case,” Lacey said in a statement. “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 said Weinstein’s accuser in the 2010 case was first interviewed by law enforcement last October. Investigators believed she could be a corroborating witness at Weinstein’s pending Los Angeles trial, where he faces charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint.
Charges filed against Weinstein on Jan. 6 in Los Angeles stemmed from alleged encounters at hotels in L.A. and Beverly Hills in February 2013. An Italian model, who gave an extensive interview to The Times in 2017, said Weinstein forced himself on her in the Mr. C Beverly Hills hotel after they met at the Los Angeles Italia Film, Fashion and Art Fest.
The woman said that she showed Weinstein pictures of her children and begged him to stop during the alleged attack.
“He grabbed me by the hair and forced me to do something I did not want to do,” she said.
Days later, prosecutors allege, Weinstein invited a woman to his room at a West Los Angeles hotel after a business meeting in the hotel’s restaurant and then trapped her in a bathroom where he groped her while masturbating.
The woman, Lauren Young, later testified about the allegation at Weinstein’s criminal trial in New York City. While on the stand, Young said the attack took place at the Montage Hotel and noted another woman was present and aided Weinstein by closing the door to the bathroom and leaving her alone with the mogul.
Prosecutors have not said if that person will be charged. The criminal complaint against Weinstein, however, noted that an “accomplice” aided him in restraining the victim in both the May 2010 assault and the attack described by Young. Greg Risling, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said the reference to an accomplice in connection with the May 2010 attack was “typical charging language” that did not “reflect the facts of the case.”
The Times does not publish the names of alleged victims in sexual assault cases unless they come forward publicly.
Weinstein, 68, was sentenced to 23 years in prison last month after being found guilty of rape and committing a criminal sexual act in New York. He is being held in a state prison, where sources said he tested positive for the coronavirus several weeks ago.
On Friday, a source close to Weinstein said the mogul has recovered from the illness. The source spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the mogul’s health candidly. New York state corrections officials have declined to comment on Weinstein’s health due to federal privacy laws.
L.A. County prosecutors have begun the process of extraditing Weinstein to California, but it remains unclear when a trial might begin since court business has been severely limited by coronavirus restrictions and Weinstein’s attorneys have said they plan to appeal his conviction in New York.
Calls and emails to Weinstein’s spokesman and Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney were not immediately returned.
Times staff writer Richard Winton contributed to this report.
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