Harvey Weinstein charged with six additional sex assault counts in LA, including rape

Leora Arnowitz and Maria Puente, USA TODAY
·3 min read

Convicted sex offender and disgraced ex-Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, currently incarcerated in New York, was charged with six additional forcible sexual assault counts in Los Angeles County, District Attorney Jackie Lacey's office announced Friday.

The additional charges stem from encounters involving two accusers, and add three felony counts each of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation to the list of charges Weinstein, 68, is facing in Los Angeles County.

"Harvey Weinstein has always maintained that every one of his physical encounters throughout his entire life have been consensual," spokesman Juda Engelmayer told USA TODAY in an email. "That hasn't changed. At this moment we cannot comment on the additional charges until we learn more about them."

The new charges are tied to an encounter between September 2004 and September 2005 in which Weinstein is accused of raping a woman at a hotel in Beverly Hills. He also is accused of raping a different woman on two separate occasions in November 2009 and November 2010, also at a Beverly Hills hotel.

Friday's new charges mark the second time the case against Weinstein has been amended to include additional counts, bringing the total to 11 that Weinstein is facing in Los Angeles County. None of the accusers in the cases have been identified by authorities.

If convicted, Weinstein is facing up to 140 years in jail.

More: Harvey Weinstein extradition to L.A. to face sex-crime charges delayed due to COVID-19

“I am thankful to the first women who reported these crimes and whose courage have given strength to others to come forward,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a Friday press release. “The willingness of these latest victims to testify against a powerful man gives us the additional evidence we need to build a compelling criminal case.”

Weinstein was first charged by Lacey with four felony sex crimes in January, just as his Manhattan trial was opening. He was accused of sexually assaulting two women during separate incidents in 2013.

In April, she added a fifth felony sex crime, "sexual battery by restraint" in an encounter at a Beverly Hills hotel. Lacey alleges Weinstein sexually assaulted a woman at the unnamed hotel on May 11, 2010.

Weinstein once was one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood, whose movies garnered bucks at the box office and acclaim during awards season. But his reputation for angry bullying and abusive behavior followed him, if rarely spoken of publicly.

Then, in October 2017, The New York Times and then New Yorker magazine published shocking exposés in which A-list stars and other named women accused him of appalling sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to groping to rape.

In the following months, scores of other women - nearly 90 in total - came forward to add their own allegations against Weinstein, as well as many other powerful Hollywood figures, powering the #MeToo movement to call out sexual misconduct in workplaces.

Weinstein lost his career, his company and his wife and family in the scandal tsunami that engulfed him, and by February 2020, he lost his freedom, after being convicted at the first, and so far only, full criminal trial arising from the #MeToo movement.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles County, Lacey set up in November 2017 a special task force of investigators and prosecutors to evaluate and pursue Hollywood-related sex-crime allegations. Prosecutors on that task force are now in charge of the Weinstein case.

Weinstein, who has had recent health struggles, is serving a 23-year sentence in a New York state prison for his conviction on third-degree rape and forcible sexual assault of two women.

Weinstein's extradition to California to face the charges there has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. An extradition hearing is set for Dec. 11 in Buffalo.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Harvey Weinstein charged with rape again in Los Angeles