Weinstein extradition fight ends with transfer to California
BUFFALO, NY (AP) – New York prison officials on Tuesday handed over convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein to be transported to California to face additional sexual assault charges, ending the fight extension of the former film producer to delay his extradition.
Weinstein, 69, was released by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision at around 9:25 a.m., according to a department statement.
His spokesman, Judah Engelmayer, said Weinstein’s lawyers were still trying to negotiate an extradition waiver, but the transfer was expected “at some point.”
“We will fight so that Harvey can receive the medical care he needs and of course, so that he can be treated fairly,” Engelmayer said. “Due process, the presumption of innocence and a fair trial are always his right. “
Details of Weinstein’s travels were not immediately known.
A New York judge approved Weinstein’s extradition to California in June, rejecting his lawyers’ request to keep him in state prison near Buffalo – where he is serving a 23-year sentence on a rape conviction last year – until the start of the jury selection in the case of Los Angeles.
Weinstein’s attorney, Norman Effman, argued he should remain in the hospital-like maximum security facility in Wende while receiving treatment for illnesses, including vision loss.
Weinstein was indicted in January 2020 with 11 counts of sexual assault in California involving five women, resulting from alleged assaults in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013. The charges include rape, forced oral copulation, sexual violence by coercion and sexual penetration by use of force.
Weinstein claims his innocence and maintains that all sexual activity was consensual.
The California charges were announced shortly before Weinstein’s conviction in New York City for raping an aspiring actress in 2013 in a Manhattan hotel room and forcibly performing oral sex on a television and film production assistant in 2006 in his Manhattan apartment.
He is appealing against this conviction.
A lawyer for one of Weinstein’s accusers applauded Tuesday’s transfer, which has been repeatedly delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as legal arguments over the paperwork and his medical needs.
“The opportunity to hold Weinstein accountable for his actions in California gives a voice to survivors, including my client, Jane Doe 4,” lawyer Elizabeth Fegan said in a statement. “They deserve to be heard and for Weinstein to be held accountable for his actions. Our hope is that a guilty verdict in California will ensure that Harvey Weinstein will spend the rest of his life behind bars, ensuring justice for women everywhere. “
Associated Press writer Michael Sisak in New York contributed to this report.
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