Movie mogul-turned-convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein was on his way to California on Tuesday, ending his long attempt to avoid or delay extradition to face more sex-crime charges in Los Angeles County.
“At approximately 9:25 a.m. this morning, custody of Mr. Harvey Weinstein was handed over to the appropriate authorities pursuant to a court order for transportation to the State of California,” a statement from the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said. sent to .
Weinstein’s spokesman, Juda Engelmayer, said Weinstein and his legal team were “disappointed” after failing to negotiate an agreement with prosecutors last month to waive the transfer.
“We are disappointed that the L.A. DA did not await the judge’s decision, but we hoped it would at some point,” the statement said. “We will fight so that Harvey can get the medical care he needs and, of course, so that he can be properly treated.
“Due process, presumption of innocence and a fair trial are still his right.”
Weinstein, 69, faces 11 criminal counts of sexual assault, including the forcible rape of five women at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2004.
He has been at the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo, New York, where he is serving a 23-year sentence in Manhattan in 2020 after pleading guilty to two sex crimes, including first-degree sexual assault and third-degree rape .
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Weinstein’s lawyers said they accepted that he would eventually be transferred to Los Angeles, but sought to delay extradition to continue medical treatment for various ailments, at least until the Los Angeles trial. The selection of the jury does not begin. He also cited the coronavirus pandemic, which is re-emerging in the state, and in particular Los Angeles County.
But an Erie County judge gave the go-ahead on June 15, and prosecutors said then the likely transfer date would be mid-July. This was followed by a series of hearings in 2020 in which Weinstein’s legal team managed to get the judge to agree to a delay.
Once Weinstein is in Los Angeles, prosecutors there must take him to trial within 120 days, according to Greg Riesling, a spokesman for Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon’s office.
Riesling declined to comment on whether Weinstein would appear in court there on Wednesday pending trial and how he was taken to Los Angeles.
Some of Weinstein’s many accusers and enemies in the #MeToo movement celebrated the move. Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, who represented some of her accused in the New York trial and two accused in the Los Angeles case, said her extradition is “long overdue.”
“Justice has been delayed in Los Angeles, but it will not deprive brave accusers willing to testify in this criminal case,” she said in a statement.
Elizabeth Fegan, attorney for several of the accused, including one in the Los Angeles case, said her client appreciates the development.
“The opportunity to hold Weinstein accountable for his actions in California gives survivors a voice,” she said in a statement. “They deserve to be heard and Weinstein answers for their actions. Our hope is that a guilty verdict in California will ensure that Harvey Weinstein will spend the rest of his life behind bars – securing justice for women everywhere.”
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