Judge declines to dismiss 2 sexual assault charges against Harvey Weinstein, asks prosecutor to amend a third charge

·2 min read
harvey weinstein
Harvey Weinstein arrives at a Manhattan courthouse for jury deliberations in his rape trial, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in New York. Associated Press/Seth Wenig
  • At a Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Lench didn't dismiss three sexual assault charges against Harvey Weinstein.

  • Weinstein's defense had filed a demurral seeking to challenge three counts.

  • Lench asked for one indictment to be amended and said a trial would start within 60 days of Sept. 13.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Judge Lisa B. Lench declined to dismiss two counts of sexual assault against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday and asked the prosecutor to amend a third charge that was also challenged.

Weinstein pleaded not guilty to 11 sexual assault counts in a Los Angeles court on July 21. He is serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York after a New York jury found him guilty in 2020 of third-degree rape and forcible sexual assault of two women.

He was recently extradited to California, where he is accused of sexually assaulting five different women.

Prior to the motions hearing on Thursday, Weinstein's defense filed a demurral, seeking to challenge three of the counts of sexual assault.

Weinstein appeared in court dressed in a brown Los Angeles County Jail shirt and seated in a black Los Angeles County Jail wheelchair. An early motion for Weinstein to be able to show up to court in civilian clothes was dismissed, as was a motion by Weinstein's team for there not to be photo and video media present.

Weinstein's attorney Alan Jackson filed a demurral seeking to challenge counts 5, 6, and 7 in Weinstein's indictment, arguing that the statute of limitations on the counts had run out and that they were "defective."

Judge Lench declined to dismiss all three counts but asked the prosecutor to file an amendment to the indictment in count 5 ahead of the next hearing, which is set for September 13. Lench also said that Weinstein's trial will start within 60 days of that date.

Outside the courthouse, despite the failure to dismiss the charges, Jackson and Weinstein's defense team were optimistic and defiant.

"Twenty percent of the DA's case is dead," Jackson said. "There is no factual or legal basis to restore the charges; it's out, it's dead, it's gone."

Jackson also called the ongoing case "prosecution by volume as opposed to by merit."

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