The hidden side of politics

Harvey Weinstein won’t be sent back to California while he awaits New York rape retrial

ABC Entertainment:

NEW YORK — Harvey Weinstein will remain locked up in New York as a court works out whether he should stay in a city jail while awaiting retrial or be sent to California to serve his prison sentence for rape there.

The fallen movie mogul, who showed up for the hearing in a wheelchair and wearing a dark suit, did not consent to California’s extradition request during a brief court hearing Thursday. The 72-year-old will remain behind bars at the Rikers Island jail, where he was returned to from a city hospital just days ago.

California now needs to produce a warrant signed by the governor within 90 days, Judge Joanne Watters said.

“They are not in a position to extradite Mr. Weinstein because they have not done what they need to do,” Diana Fabi Samson, Weinstein’s lawyer, said outside court following the appearance.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted Weinstein, referred extradition questions to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Watters scheduled Weinstein’s next appearance on the extradition question for Aug. 7 — just weeks before New York prosecutors said they could be ready to try him again.

The 16-year sentence Weinstein received in California in 2023 for raping a woman at a 2013 Los Angeles film festival had been on ice while he served a 23-year rape sentence in New York.

After the Empire State conviction was overturned late last month, Manhattan prosecutors said they are working to retry him, and at least one of two accusers was willing to testify again.

The once-powerful former movie executive has denied the New York charges, which accused him of raping an aspiring actor in 2013 and sexually assaulting a TV and film production assistant in 2006. The 2020 verdict was heralded at the time as a milestone in the #MeToo movement, an era that began in 2017 with a flood of allegations against Weinstein.

In vacating the convictions, New York’s highest court found that the trial judge prejudiced Weinstein with improper rulings, including by letting other women testify about allegations he wasn’t charged with.

Representatives for Weinstein said Thursday their main concern is making sure he gets the medical care he needs while in custody in New York.

“He is holding up as well as expected under the circumstances of being incarcerated with the health issues,” Samson said.

Weinstein was doing his time in an upstate New York prison until he was transferred to city custody following the appeals court decision. Then he was sent to Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital, where his publicist says he was treated for pneumonia and other medical issues. He was moved back to Rikers on Monday.

Craig Rothfeld, a jail consultant working with Weinstein’s attorneys, stressed that the decision where to house Weinstein was made solely by city officials without input from his legal team.

“There’s been a lot of rumors about him having a cushy room. There have been false narratives about what that room is like,” he said. “He has very serious health issues. Since the day he has been incarcerated, he has been in a hospital setting, so the narrative that he should not be in Bellevue is really not a narrative that makes sense.”

Source:ABC Entertainment

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