Weinstein can be extradited to LA for sex assault charges: Judge

Former Hollywood mogul faces extradition to California in spite of lawyer’s arguments he needs medical care in New York.

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein departs New York Criminal Court following jury deliberations in his sexual assault trial in New York City, New York, on February 21, 2020 [File: Lucas Jackson/Reuters]

The convicted former film producer Harvey Weinstein can be extradited to California from New York to face rape and sexual assault charges, a New York judge ruled on Tuesday.

Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case rejected arguments by Weinstein’s lawyer that the paperwork to move Weinstein was not in order, and that Weinstein should stay in New York to get appropriate medical care.

Fox News quoted Erie County assistant district attorney Colleen Gable as saying “It’s Los Angeles. It’s not some remote outpost that doesn’t have medical care.”

“We are disappointed by the judge’s ruling,” Mark Werksman, a lawyer for Weinstein, told Reuters in an email.

“We are appealing his decision in New York and we have filed a habeas corpus petition in the Los Angeles Superior Court to prevent the Los Angeles District Attorney from transporting Mr Weinstein to Los Angeles until he can receive the medical care he needs in New York,” Werksman added.

Former film producer Harvey Weinstein attends a remote court hearing from the Wende Correctional Facility, east of Buffalo, New York, on June 15, 2021, in a still image from video [New York State Unified Court System/Handout via Reuters]

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office was not immediately available for comment.

The charges against Weinstein in California result from alleged sexual assaults on five women from 2004 to 2013 in the Los Angeles area.

He faces an 11-count indictment in Los Angeles on charges of four counts of forcible rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint and one count of sexual penetration by use of force.

Weinstein is serving a 23-year prison term following his February 2020 conviction in Manhattan for sexually assaulting a production assistant in 2006 and third-degree rape of an aspiring actress in 2013.

His conviction was seen as a landmark victory for the #MeToo movement, which aims to hold powerful men accountable for sexual misconduct, including sexual assault and rape.

Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone.

More than 100 women, many from the film industry, have accused Weinstein of inappropriate sexual behaviour. Many say more needs to be done to fight sexual misconduct in professional settings.

Source: News Agencies