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As Weinstein Trial Starts, Big New Charges

He is charged with rape in California as New York case is getting underway
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2020 8:57 AM CST
Updated Jan 6, 2020 1:10 PM CST

(Newser) – The #MeToo movement was born of sexual misconduct and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein from dozens of women—and on Monday, the disgraced film producer's criminal trial began in Manhattan. If convicted, Weinstein faces a long prison sentence. If acquitted, however, his legal trouble may not be over: The Los Angeles Times reports that new criminal charges have been filed against him in Los Angeles County. In New York, meanwhile, jury selection is expected to start Tuesday. Coverage:

  • New York trial: The trial of the 67-year-old, who faces charges of rape and predatory sexual assault primarily involving two women, won't be an open-and-shut one, reports the New York Times, which notes "jurors will be hearing a narrow legal case, with an already fraught backstory and a highly unpredictable result." Weinstein says his sexual encounters were consensual, and both the prosecution and defense have had issues, including the loss of a third accuser for the former, and Weinstein's revolving roster of lawyers for the latter.
  • California charges: Weinstein is charged with raping one woman in a hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting another woman the following night in a hotel suite, reports the AP. He is charged with forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force, and sexual battery by restraint. He faces 28 years if convicted. No arraignment has been scheduled. "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,” says county district attorney Jackie Lacey.

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