10:56am PT by Ashley Cullins
Harvey Weinstein Charged in L.A. With Sexually Assaulting Two Women in 2013
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey on Monday announced new criminal charges against Harvey Weinstein involving an alleged 2013 rape and a sexual assault of a second woman — and says three other cases are currently being investigated.
Weinstein has been charged with "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. He is accused of pushing one woman inside her L.A. hotel room and raping her and then sexually assaulting another woman the next day in a Beverly Hills hotel suite. During a Monday press conference, Lacey clarified that the alleged incidents happened on Feb. 18 and 19, 2013. Lacey said each of the women told at least one other person about the alleged assaults in 2013, and they filed reports with police in 2017.
"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 press release. "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."
The charges carry a potential sentence of up to 28 years in state prison.
This comes on the first day of Weinstein's criminal trial in New York — and on the heels of reports that Lacey's office had "escalated" its review of allegations against Weinstein, with four cases coming from the LAPD and an additional four from Beverly Hills police.
Lacey confirmed eight women have come forward to report alleged sexual assault by Weinstein in Los Angeles County. Three of them happened outside of the statute of limitations and will not result in charges. Lacey's office is still investigating the allegations of three other women to determine if additional charges will be filed.
The charges are the first resulting from the task force Lacey launched in 2017 to investigate sexual assault in the entertainment industry. She says more than 40 cases have been presented to her office, but most have been declined for criminal prosecution because they were too old to prosecute or there was "insufficient credible evidence."