Harvey Weinstein charged with rape, other sex crimes in LA

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Harvey Weinstein was charged Monday on new sex crime charges in Los Angeles, just as his trial on separate rape and sexual assault charges in New York was poised to get underway, prosecutors announced Monday.

The disgraced movie mogul was charged with one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced. He is set to be arraigned at a later date, and prosecutors recommended $5 million bail.

"We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them," Lacey said in a statement.

The 67-year-old allegedly raped a woman in a hotel room on Feb. 18, 2013, after he pushed his way inside her room, prosecutors said. The next night, he allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in a Beverly Hills hotel suite. That woman is expected to testify at Weinstein's trial in New York.

The Los Angeles district attorney's task force is still investigating sex crime allegations against Weinstein from three women, Lacey said. Prosecutors declined charges involving three other women because their cases were beyond the statute of limitations.

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Weinstein faces up to 28 years in state prison if he is convicted of the charges filed in L.A. He is expected to appear in court in California after his trial in New York is finished, Lacey said.

Lawyers for Weinstein had no immediate response to the new charges. The Manhattan district attorney's office declined to comment on them.

The news came the same day that Weinstein and several of the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct converged Monday at the New York City courthouse where a judge and his lawyers handled the final preparations for his high-stakes trial on charges of rape and assault.

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Speaking at the New York courthouse Monday prior to the announcement, Weinstein's attorneys suggested they knew charges might be coming. They asked the judge for potential jurors to be sequestered partly because of the possibility that charges could be brought elsewhere against Weinstein while the trial was ongoing. The judge denied that request.

"There is a potential L.A. situation going on," his lawyer, Donna Rotunno, told reporters after the hearing.

"We don't know what is going to happen. We're hoping not," added another of his lawyers, Damon Cheronis. "We have no control over what happens in Los Angeles or anywhere else."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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