On the same day that Harvey Weinstein was set to face trial in New York over alleged sex crimes, authorities in Los Angeles charged the former movie mogul with raping and assaulting two women in two days in 2013.
According to Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Weinstein forced his way into a woman’s hotel room and raped her on Feb. 18. The next evening, he allegedly sexually assaulted another woman in a hotel suite.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Weinstein with rape, forcible oral copulation, and sexual penetration by use of force for the first alleged assault. For the second, he was charged with sexual battery by restraint, according to a press release. The long delay between the alleged crime and charges occurred because the women had been hesitant about reporting all the information, Lacey said.
“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.”
The charges are separate from those Weinstein already faces in New York. Prosecutors there have accused Weinstein of raping a woman in a hotel room in Manhattan in 2013 and performing a forcible sex act on another woman in 2006 when she sought him out to ask for work. His trial on those charges began Monday, with jury selection to come Tuesday. Prosecutors plan to call four other women who have accused Weinstein of assault to testify to his pattern of abuse. Weinstein has maintained that all of his sexual activity was consensual.
Lacey told reporters at a press conference Monday that Weinstein would be brought to California to face his charges there after his New York trial. She also said that her office was weighing three other allegations against Weinstein but had not yet made a decision about those potential charges.
More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual assault and misconduct.
According to the press release, prosecutors in Los Angeles are seeking a $5 million bail. Weinstein could be sentenced to up to 28 years in prison. In New York, Weinstein faces a mandatory life sentence.