Harvey Weinstein goes on trial in Los Angeles on charges of rape and sexual assault




CNN
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Two years after his conviction on rape and sexual assault charges, disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein is again set to go on trial on similar charges in Los Angeles.

Weinstein, 70, has pleaded not guilty to charges including four counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by force and sexual battery by restraint in incidents dating from 2004 to 2013.

Weinstein was already found guilty in New York of first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

The New York charges were based on testimony from Miriam Haley, who testified that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment, and from Jessica Mann, who testified that he raped her in 2013 during what she described as an abusive relationship.

He did not testify in his own defense, but at his sentencing he offered an unexpected, rambling speech which oscillated between remorse, defense of his actions and confusion.

“I’m not going to say these aren’t great people, I had wonderful times with these people, you know,” Weinstein said of the women who accused him of assault. “It is just I’m totally confused, and I think men are confused about all of these issues.”

Weinstein has maintained his innocence, and New York’s highest court agreed in August to hear his appeal in the case.

The former movie producer appeared in frail health during the trial and used a walker as he arrived to and left court each day. He used a wheelchair to arrive to the sentencing in March 2020 as well as in a court hearing in Los Angeles in July 2021. His attorneys have argued the lengthy prison sentence was a de facto life sentence due to his failing health.

As founder of Miramax Films, Weinstein was one of the most powerful men in Hollywood and helped produce movies such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Clerks” and “Shakespeare in Love.”

In 2017, investigative stories by The New York Times and The New Yorker revealed Weinstein’s alleged history of sexual abuse, harassment and secret settlements as he used his influence as a Hollywood power broker to take advantage of young women.

The revelations led to a wave of women speaking publicly about the pervasiveness of sexual abuse and harassment in what became known as the #MeToo movement.

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