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Harvey Weinstein Faces Additional Felony Sexual Assault Charges In Los Angeles

The city brought the charges against him the day his New York City trial began

On Monday (January 6) Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has been charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in two separate incidents in 2013, USA Today reported. The charges amount to one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force, and sexual battery by restraint.

According to a press release from Lacey’s office, Weinstein is being accused of allegedly forcing himself into a hotel room in Los Angeles and raping a woman on February 18, 2013. The following evening, he allegedly sexually assaulted a different woman at a hotel suite in Beverly Hills. The victims have not made their identities public; it's credible that Weinstein was in Los Angeles at that time, given the Oscars were held on February 24 that year and the producer attended the event.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Arraignment has not yet been scheduled, but if Weinstein is convicted as charged, he would face up to 28 years in prison.

The charges came on the first day of Weinstein’s New York trial, in which he was charged with five sex crimes, including rape and predatory assault. He has denied all allegations, and is free on $1 million bail, according to USA Today. Outside his trial, dozens of protesters gathers including several of Weinstein’s accusers, the New York Times reported. He is charged with raping one woman and forcing a second woman to let him to preform oral sex on her, and faces one count of rape and a second count of criminal sexual act. If convicted, he faces 25 years in prison, according to the Times. He also faces a predatory sexual assault charge for committing sex crimes against multiple people — if he’s convicted on that charge, he faces life in prison.

Weinstein's status as an alleged serial assaults was known only through a whisper network in Hollywood until, in 2017, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey wrote an explosive investigative piece into his misdeeds for the New York Times; a few days later, the New Yorker published a separate investigation by Ronan Farrow that contained allegations made by other womenSince then, at least 100 women have come forward with stories of being targeted or attacked by Weinstein, including Rose McGowan, Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek, Paz de la Huerta, Lupita Nyong'o, and his former assistant, Rowena Chiu. The allegations date back to the 1980s, and happened as recently as 2015.

The accounts helped invigorate the public conversation around sexual misconduct and violence, and in particular gave a boost to the #MeToo movement, which was originally created by Tarana Burke in 2006. (At its founding, the organization centered Black women and girls, and provided resources to help them heal from sexual violence, the Los Angeles Times reported.) Since then, scores of people have come forward with their own experiences, and some powerful people have lost their jobs in relation to their alleged abuses of power.

In December 2018, reports surfaced that Weinstein and his former company may be reaching a settlement deal with a group of around 30 survivors who have accused him of varying degrees of predation. The New York Times reported that $6.2 million of a $25 million settlement would be divided between 18 survivors, leaving$18.5 million to be reserved for a pool related to a class-action suit against him. That settlement is separate from the case currently being heard in New York City, and from the charges levied against Weinstein in Los Angeles.