LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Now that disgraced ex-film producer Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced in New York to 23 years behind bars for sexually assaulting two women, Los Angeles County prosecutors today moved forward with an effort to bring him to the Southland to face more charges.
The District Attorney's Office “has begun the process of extraditing defendant Weinstein to California to face the sexual assault charges that were filed in January,” the office posted on its Twitter account. “No arraignment date has been set. Once a date has been set, our office will notify the public.”
The announcement came just hours after New York State Supreme Court Justice James Burke handed Weinstein a 20-year term for committing a criminal sex act against Mimi Haley, a former production assistant, and a three-year term for raping Jessica Mann, an aspiring actress, and ordered that the terms be served consecutively.
In Los Angeles, 67-year-old Weinstein faces charges of rape, oral copulation, sexual penetration by force and sexual battery by restraint. Weinstein could face up to 28 years in prison if convicted of all counts.
It was not immediately clear if Weinstein will try to fight extradition to California, or if there are any grounds for him to do so.
The seven-man, five-woman New York jury deliberated for about 22 hours -- and at one point indicated that they might be deadlocked -- before returning with the guilty verdicts for crimes committed against two of the six women who testified that Weinstein had assaulted them.
The defense argued repeatedly that all of the sex was consensual. Weinstein did not testify in his own defense. His attorney has said she will appeal the jury's decision.
Lauren Young, one of the two women alleging assault in the Los Angeles case, also testified in Manhattan. Her account was challenged by another woman Young accused of helping trap her in a bathroom with Weinstein.
“That never happened,” Claudia Salinas told jurors.
Despite the conflicting testimony, one attorney said the New York conviction confirms that Weinstein used force, which could help support the West Coast case.
“If that's admissible as proof, it's a difficult fact to overcome,” New York attorney Paul DerOhannesian told The Los Angeles Times last month.
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