Weinstein pleads not guilty ahead of rape trial

REUTERS

LOS ANGELES — Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of rape and sexual assault involving five women in Los Angeles ahead of a second trial. Mr. Weinstein, 69, arrived at Los Angeles Superior Court for his first appearance there in a wheelchair, wearing a brown jail uniform, after being extradited from New York on Tuesday where he was serving 23 years in prison for rape and other sexual offenses. Mr. Weinstein has denied having nonconsensual sex with anyone and is appealing his 2020 New York conviction and sentence. In Los Angeles, he faces 11 charges of attacking five women between 2004 to 2013. They include forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual battery by restraint, and sexual penetration by use of force. If convicted, Mr. Weinstein could spend the rest of his life in prison. Mr. Weinstein’s lawyer Mark Werksman said he was seeking dismissal of three charges relating to 2004 and 2005 on the grounds that the 10-year statute of limitations in California has expired. Mr. Weinstein, once one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, is accused of raping two women at hotels in Beverly Hills on separate occasions, and with sexually assaulting three other women in the Beverly Hills or Los Angeles areas, according to the charges. — Reuters

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