Harvey Weinstein has plead not guilty to sex crime charges in Los Angeles.
The disgraced producer is currently serving 23 years in prison in New York for third degree rape and first degree criminal sex act, and he appeared in court in Los Angeles on Wednesday (21.07.21) for a hearing regarding a further 11 charges, including four counts of rape.
According to the New York Post, Weinstein entered a plea of not guilty to all 11 counts, while his lawyers also filed a motion to dismiss three of the counts, stating that the statute of limitations had expired.
The indictment was unsealed during the hearing on Wednesday, and includes counts of rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual battery by restraint and sexual penetration by use of force.
Under California law, prosecutors have 120 days after Weinstein’s arrival to begin court proceedings, meaning a trial must start by mid-November.
The news comes after Weinstein launched an appeal in April this year to have his New York conviction overturned and argued he was deprived of a fair and impartial jury trial because of media coverage.
Weinstein and his legal team have alleged the jury was influenced by the coverage of the trial, as well as the public’s “magnified moral outrage over claimed sexual misbehaviour of powerful men”.
The producer also highlighted several points made by his legal team during his trial, including the allegation that one of the jurors had previously written a book focusing on older men who prey on younger women.
In addition, Weinstein alleged the jury was permitted to hear allegations of prior bad acts and uncharged crimes, which he argues is a major error that deprived him of his right to a fair trial.
The former Miramax boss also claimed he was barred from presenting a defence against the prosecution’s expert witness, and even alleged the judge showed his own bias when he admonished Weinstein for using his cell phone in court.