Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein will be extradited to California after the approval of a New York judge, where he faces additional sexual assault charges.
The extradition order ends a legal fight, prolonged by the pandemic, defense concerns over Weinstein’s failing health and a paperwork feud.
Judge Kenneth Case said there was no reason to delay Weinstein’s transfer any longer and denied his attorney’s request to keep him in a state prison near Buffalo, New York, until jury selection begins at his next trial in Los Angeles. Weinstein is already serving a 23-year sentence for two rape convictions last year after a trial in New York.
Weinstein, appearing via video from Wende Prison on Tuesday, placed his hands on his masked face after Case announced his decision. Earlier in the hearing, Weinstein had the mask falling from his right ear as he sat in what appeared to be a prison meeting room.
Weinstein uses the guilty verdict, who found out he raped an aspiring actress in 2013 in a Manhattan hotel room, and forcibly performed oral sex on TV and movie production assistant in 2006 in his Manhattan apartment.
Additionally, Weinstein’s former production company recently agreed to pay $ 17 million in bankruptcy court to women who claimed to have been sexually abused by Weinstein. More than 50 women accused Weinstein of sexual abuse during the #MeToo movement.
Los Angeles prosecutors first indicted Weinstein in January 2020, just as jury selection began in the new York Municipal affair which ended in his conviction and imprisonment.
Faces of Weinstein 11 counts of sexual assault in California involving five women, resulting from alleged assaults in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013. The charges include rape, forced oral copulation, coercive sexual violence and forcible sexual penetration.
Los Angeles authorities plan to recover Weinstein, 69, from Wende Correctional Center in Alden, New York, by early July, prosecutors said, giving Weinstein’s attorney Norman Effman time to do so. extradition appeal.
In Effman’s attempt to block the extradition, he argued that Weinstein should remain in the hospital-like maximum security setting in Wende while receiving treatment for illnesses such as blindness. His suggestion that Weinstein be brought to justice by video was also rejected.
“What we were trying to do is not to avoid trial, but to avoid unnecessary stay in a prison rather than a prison,” Effman said, claiming pre-trial detention at California would deprive Weinstein of necessary medical care.
Erie County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Curtin Gable, who argued for Weinstein’s extradition, replied, “This is Los Angeles. It is not a remote outpost that does not have any kind of medical care.
In addition to concerns about Weinstein’s health, Effman questioned the legitimacy of extradition documents filed by authorities in Los Angeles, which he said were flawed because they only listed some of the charges.
“We challenge the paperwork because it’s not fair. That’s wrong… They just copied the form and changed the date, ”Effman told Case.
Gable said the documents “absolutely meet the requirements” of the extradition agreement.
Gable also took issue with Effman’s claims regarding Weinstein’s health, saying Judge Weinstein last week rejected prescribed treatment for his eye condition because he said he “was not psychologically ready for it. “and that prison officials had scoured ophthalmologists trying to find one” acceptable to the defendant. “
Weinstein has a myriad of health problems and his condition has worsened since being in prison, according to his lawyers, including one fight against Covid-19 two weeks after her conviction in March 2020.
Weinstein suffers from diabetes, extensive coronary artery disease, anemia, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, chronic lower back pain, sciatica, chronic leg pain and arthritis which severely limit his ability to walk, and eye problems that severely impaired his vision, his lawyers said. .
“Every detainee has an absolute right to appropriate treatment while in detention,” Gable said. “But they don’t have a say in when and where they get their treatment, and there is absolutely nothing in either doctor’s report that says that treatment can’t be done. made in Los Angeles. “