Former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is facing two new sexual assault charges. The charges were brought against him by Los Angeles prosecutors. Weinstein is being charged with the rape of one woman and the sexual assault of another. Both incidents are said to have occurred in 2013. These new charges have been brought to light just as Weinstein's long-awaited criminal trial in New York City is getting underway.
According to the Los Angeles district attorney's office, the first incident took place on February 28, 2013. Harvey Weinstein is said to have forced his way into the woman's hotel room and raped her. The second incident allegedly took place the following night, with Weinstein accused of sexually assaulting a different woman in a Beverly Hills hotel. Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey had this to say in a statement.
"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. I want to commend the victims who have come forward and bravely recounted what happened to them. It is my hope that all victims of sexual violence find strength and healing as they move forward."
Harvey Weinstein is being charged with forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual penetration by use of force in the first incident, and sexual battery by restraint in the second. If convicted, he faces up to 28 years in prison. Both of the women reported the incidents to police after several other women came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct in 2017. In total, eight women came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault in Los Angeles county.
Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein is on trial in New York City for sexually assaulting two women. The alleged incidents, in that case, took place in 2006 and 2013. It's expected that dozens of the many women who have accused the 67-year-old former Hollywood executive will testify in court. Weinstein, in a statement, expressed that he expects to be exonerated.
"There are a number of things that I would have liked to have done differently, and I do... empathize with the various social causes that have arisen. I am looking forward to setting the record straight... and yes, I am expecting to be fully exonerated."
Harvey Weinstein, the former head of The Weinstein Company, was accused of decades of sexual misconduct in a bombshell New York Times piece in 2017. Since then, more than 80 women, including Asia Argento, Rosanna Arquette, Salma Hayek, Rose McGowan, Uma Thurman and many others have come forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, ranging from harassment to rape. In the wake of the Weinstein allegations, the #MeToo and Time's Up movements were launched. Since then, many other high-profile figures in Hollywood have also been accused of misconduct. We'll be sure to keep you posted as the situation develops over the coming weeks. This news was previously reported by CBS.