Harvey Weinstein faces sexual assault and rape charges as L.A. trial begins
Harvey Weinstein. Photo: Stephen Chernin/Getty Images
The trial of Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced film producer accused of sexually harassing and raping numerous women, will start Wednesday in Los Angeles.
The trial will begin with testimony from nine women who claim to have been sexually harassed or threatened by Weinstein. The women, speaking on the condition of anonymity, are described in a court filing by Manhattan prosecutors as “survivors of the defendant’s alleged sexual abuse.”
The trial will continue for about two weeks. The courtroom is expected to seat about a hundred spectators.
Weinstein was convicted in a New York courtroom in May of one count of predatory sexual assault, when jurors deliberated for less than five hours.
Weinstein was charged with four more counts of sex crimes, including the alleged rape of a woman he was directing in 2013. Judge James Burke threw out the conviction in March, two months after the verdict was announced.
During trial on the New York charges, the judge allowed Weinstein to be re-sentenced to a lifetime of sex offender registration, which Weinstein appealed. His conviction was overturned, however, in May, by a panel of three judges.
The trial in Los Angeles is expected to be more detailed, with the possibility of opening statements.
While the details of Weinstein’s criminal case have been suppressed, the court filing describes several alleged incidents that prosecutors say demonstrate his pattern of conduct. Weinstein is already prohibited by law from being in the presence of anyone under the age of 18.
At the time he was in court for the initial trial in New York, Weinstein was not the focus of widespread scandal. He worked in the entertainment industry and in part financed his divorce in 1998 from actress Rose McGowan, who is one of the women making claims in New York.
In addition to the four charges in New York, Weinstein was charged with sexual assault and rape