BY TERRI VERMEULEN KEITH
One day after being extradited from New York, disgraced former film producer Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom to sex-related charges involving five women.
Weinstein, 69, was flown to Los Angeles on Tuesday and subsequently booked into jail, where he is being held without bail.
The former Hollywood mogul was brought into a downtown courtroom Wednesday morning in a wheelchair. He didn’t speak during the brief hearing, with his attorney entering the not-guilty plea on his behalf.
Weinstein is due back in court July 29. His attorney indicated he would be filing a motion seeking to dismiss three of the 11 counts against him on technical grounds.
Weinstein has already been sentenced to 23 years in prison in New York, where he was convicted of a criminal sex act against a former production assistant and raping an aspiring actress.
His attorneys had tried to block his transfer from New York to Los Angeles until he was “medically fit” to be moved. A court document filed in Los Angeles by the defense contended that Weinstein was in “urgent need of medical treatment to save his eyesight, and that this treatment could take anywhere from 24 to 36 months.” It also asked a judge in Los Angeles to delay the transfer until Weinstein’s medical treatment is completed.
In court papers filed earlier this month, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office asserted that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is capable of providing medical care to Weinstein.
Los Angeles County prosecutors initially charged Weinstein in January 2020 with sex-related counts involving three women. They filed additional charges against him last October, alleging he sexually assaulted two other women in Beverly Hills. The charges stem from alleged crimes between 2004 and 2013.
A grand jury indicted Weinstein on the same charges March 15, while his extradition was still pending. The indictment, which was unsealed Wednesday, will allow prosecutors to move the case more quickly to trial.
He could face a potential maximum of 140 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged of four counts each of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint and one count of sexual penetration by use of force, according to the District Attorney’s Office.