Harvey Weinstein charged with sexual assault in Los Angeles

On the first day of final preparations for Harvey Weinstein’s trial on rape and sexual assault charges in New York, prosecutors in Los Angeles charged the disgraced Hollywood producer with sexually assaulting two women in 2013.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced the new charges Monday morning.

Authorities charged Weinstein, 67, with one count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint.

“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,” Lacey said Monday in a statement.

Investigators believe Weinstein pushed his way inside a woman’s room on Feb. 18, 2013, and raped her, according to authorities. Officials said Weinstein sexually assaulted another woman the next evening at a hotel suite in Beverly Hills.

Prosecutors said Monday they plan to request Weinstein be held on a bail of $5 million. If he’s convicted, Weinstein could face as many as 28 years in state prison.

Earlier in the day, Weinstein entered the courthouse in New York leaning on a walker following a recent back surgery. Inside, his lawyers and prosecutors spent the morning sparring about procedural matters, including how to keep publicity surrounding the trial from influencing the jury’s thinking.

Jury selection in the trial will start Tuesday, more than two years since the allegations first came to widespread public attention and catalyzed the #MeToo movement.

Weinstein faces allegations that he raped one woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and performed a forcible sex act on a woman, Mimi Haleyi, who had come to him seeking film work in 2006.

He has pleaded not guilty and says any sexual activity was consensual. If he’s convicted of the most serious charges against him, two counts of predatory sexual assault, Weinstein faces a mandatory life sentence.

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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