Weinstein charged with sex crimes in LA on eve of NY trial

NEW YORK (AP) - Los Angeles prosecutors have charged Harvey Weinstein with sexually assaulting two women on successive nights during Oscars week in 2013.

Harvey Weinstein, center, arrives for a court hearing, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) (Source: Mark Lennihan)

The new case against the disgraced Hollywood mogul comes on the eve of jury selection for his New York trial.

It puts Weinstein in deep legal peril on both coasts, where he built his career as the one of the most powerful — and feared — figures in show business before a barrage of allegations led to his downfall and ignited the #MeToo movement.

His lawyers have yet to comment.

He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a news release Monday that the Hollywood mogul has been charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013.

Weinstein faces up to 28 years in state prison if he is convicted of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint. Lawyers for Weinstein had no immediate response to the charges.

He has pleaded not guilty in the New York case and denied all accusations of non-consensual sex.

Weinstein and several women who have accused him of sexual misconduct converged Monday at a New York courthouse ahead of his trial.

The 67-year-old movie mogul entered the building Monday leaning on a walker following recent back surgery. Weinstein, his lawyers and a judge were handling the final preparations Monday before jury selection starts this week in New York.

The judge denied a motion to sequester jurors throughout the course of the trial and declined to gag Weinstein’s attorneys from speaking to the media.

A group of Weinstein’s accusers spoke with reporters outside court, including actress Rose McGowan. She thanked the women who will testify for representing many more women she says may never get their day in court.

The disgraced movie mogul faces allegations that he raped one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.

If he’s convicted of the most serious charges against him, he faces a mandatory life sentence.

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