Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer on Monday challenged his extradition from New York to California, where the imprisoned movie mogul faces rape and sexual assault charges in a newly revealed indictment. Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case delayed a decision on extradition for Weinstein, 69, who appeared via video from the maximum security Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo, where he has been held since last spring after being convicted in New York City of a criminal sex act and third-degree rape. Weinstein was charged last year in California with assaulting five women in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013. The new indictment, returned by a grand jury on March 15, contains the same 11 counts involving the same five unnamed women as the previous criminal complaint against Weinstein, according to a source with direct knowledge.
The move by prosecutors means skipping a public preliminary hearing on the evidence against Weinstein, and putting him on a fast track to trial. After requests for a “humanitarian” delay of extradition to attend to Weinstein’s medical needs were rejected at Monday's New York hearing, defense attorney Norman Effman argued that because the criminal complaint has been replaced by the indictment, the initial transfer request is incomplete. Case granted his request for another hearing, which he scheduled for April 30, the AP reports. Effman said he wanted to delay the extradition so that Weinstein could undergo two scheduled medical procedures, an eye surgery and a dental procedure, but that California prosecutors denied his requests. “He is almost technically blind at this point and in need of surgery,” according to the lawyer, who added Weinstein also had lost four teeth while behind bars. (His team is also appealing his conviction.)