May 28th, 2024

Harvey Weinstein back in court as New York weighs California prison request

By Philip Marcelo, The Associated Press on May 9, 2024.

FILE - Harvey Weinstein appears at Manhattan criminal court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 in New York. (Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – Harvey Weinstein appeared in a New York City courtroom Thursday as authorities consider California’s extradition request to serve his pending sentence for a 2022 rape conviction in Los Angeles.

The 16-year sentence Weinstein received in 2023 for raping a woman at a 2013 Los Angeles film festival had been on ice while he served time behind bars in New York after being found guilty of rape in Manhattan in 2020. But the Empire State conviction was overturned late last month, negating its 23-year sentence.

The hearing in Queens criminal court on Thursday morning, days after Weinstein left a city hospital, was related to California’s request, according to prosecutors and defense attorneys. Weinstein showed up for the hearing in a wheelchair, wearing a dark suit.

The 72-year-old has nevertheless remained in New York custody while Manhattan’s district attorney works to retry him. At a hearing last week, prosecutors said they could be ready as soon as September, and that at least one of two alleged victims was willing to testify again.

In that case, the once powerful former movie mogul is accused of raping an aspiring actor in 2013 and sexually assaulting a TV and film production assistant in 2006. He denies the charges.

In vacating the conviction, New York’s highest court found that the trial judge prejudiced Weinstein with improper rulings, including by letting other women testify about allegations he wasn’t charged with.

The 2020 conviction was heralded at the time as a milestone in the #MeToo movement, an era that began in 2017 with a flood of allegations against Weinstein.

Weinstein was sent to serve his sentence in an upstate New York state prison. After being transferred to city custody following the appeals court decision, he was sent to Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital, where his publicist says he was treated for pneumonia and other medical issues. He was moved to the city’s Rikers Island jail complex on Monday.

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