Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to 11-count L.A. sex assault indictment

Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to 11-count L.A. sex assault indictment
UPI

July 21 (UPI) — Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to 11 sexual assault counts Wednesday in Los Angeles after being indicted of sexually assaulting five women in separate incidents.

Weinstein, using a wheelchair and wearing a facemask, entered the not guilty pleas through his attorneys during a brief initial court appearance in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

He made the appearance one day after being extradited from New York, where he is serving a 23-year prison sentence following his conviction last year on first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree rape.

The California indictment includes 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.

The alleged offenses occurred over a span of nearly a decade, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said.

“Anyone who abuses their power and influence to prey upon others will be brought to justice,” he said in an issued statement.

The one-time Hollywood mogul is scheduled to return to court on July 29 for a motions hearing.

Prosecutors alleged Weinstein raped a woman at a hotel between 2004 and 2005 and another woman on two separate occasions in 2009 and 2010 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

He is also is charged with sexually assaulting another woman at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2010 and with sexually assaulting two women during separate incidents in 2013.

Weinstein attorney Mark Werksman said he will seek to get some of the charges dismissed.

“The big picture is these allegations stem from many years ago and that’s the problem the district attorney’s office is going to face,” he told KCBS-TV. “That’s the problem that all of these accusers face. They brought allegations that can’t be substantiated or corroborated.”

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