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Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to Los Angeles sexual assault charges

Harvey Weinstein, pictured leaving a Manhattan courthouse in February 2020, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Los Angeles to additional sexual assault and rape charges. (John Minchillo/AP)
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Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Los Angeles to four counts of rape and several other sexual assault charges. The film producer was extradited from New York the day before, where he has been serving a 23-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting two women.

The charges, which involve allegations from five women that span a decade, include four counts of rape, four counts of forced oral sex, two counts of sexual battery and one count of forced sexual penetration. Upon announcing the indictment, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón stated, “Anyone who abuses their power and influence to prey upon others will be brought to justice.”

Representatives for Weinstein did not respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment.

Weinstein, 69, was sentenced to prison last year in what was heralded as a major step for the #MeToo movement, which has exposed widespread sexual assault and harassment by powerful figures in various industries. Rumors of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct circulated in Hollywood for years as he dominated the industry award circuit and built the studios Miramax and the Weinstein Company with his brother, Bob. But the numerous allegations against him broke into the public consciousness with a pair of exposes published in October 2017 by the New Yorker and the New York Times.

The New York jury found Weinstein guilty of forcing oral sex on a production assistant at his Manhattan apartment in 2006 and raping an aspiring actress at a hotel in 2013. Both women were decades younger than him. Weinstein has long denied the accuracy of allegations against him, and during his sentencing last year likened the recent wave of sexual misconduct accusations to McCarthyism: “There was a scare,” he said, “and that’s what’s happening, what’s happening now all over this country.”

The new charges against Weinstein involve incidents said to have occurred between 2004 and 2013, a few at hotels in Beverly Hills. The district attorney’s office is continuing to investigate the case alongside the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments.

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