Harvey Weinstein LA trial: what is happening in court case - what charges is he facing?

Harvey Weinstein is facing a jury in Los Angeles over assault charges. (Credit: Getty Images)Harvey Weinstein is facing a jury in Los Angeles over assault charges. (Credit: Getty Images)
Harvey Weinstein is facing a jury in Los Angeles over assault charges. (Credit: Getty Images) | POOL/AFP via Getty Images
The former Hollywood producer is already serving 23 years in jail in New York, but faces 11 new abuse charges in Los Angeles

Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of rape and sexual assault in Los Angeles. The former Hollywood producer was on trial in California while he serves a seperate 23-year sentence for rape and sexual misconduct.

He was found guilty of rape, as well as forced oral copulation and sexual penetration by a foreign object against one women referred to as Jane Doe one. Weinstein faced other charges against several other women, however he was found not guilty on one count of sexual battery and a mistrial was declared on the other counts.

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Weinstein became one of the biggest names to be convicted of sexual assualt and abuse charges in Hollywood, and his fall from grace coincided with the rise of the #MeToo movement. The movement encourages victims of sexual assault and abuse to speak up about their experience.

For his crimes, Weinstein is looking at more prison time. He could face being hit with a further 24 years when sentencing take place.

Harvey Weinstein is facing a jury in Los Angeles over assault charges. (Credit: Getty Images)Harvey Weinstein is facing a jury in Los Angeles over assault charges. (Credit: Getty Images)
Harvey Weinstein is facing a jury in Los Angeles over assault charges. (Credit: Getty Images) | POOL/AFP via Getty Images

What happened in Harvey Weinstein’s LA trial?

The former producer faced his second criminal trial in California, two years after he was found guilty of sexual assault and rape in New York. He was charged with a total of 11 counts of rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual battery in Los Angeles, although four of these inital charges were dropped.

The trial began in October 2022. Weinstein’s attorney Mark Werksman told jurors during the opening arguments that the case against his client would “evaporate upon your close scrutiny”, adding that many of the allegations were either fabricated or consensual.

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He referred to the encounters as “casting couch” sessions, but told jurors that the women had consensually taken part in the interactions. Mr Werksman said: “It was the casting couch. Everyone did it. He did it. They did it. Because each wanted something from another.

“He’s not Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Do you think these beautiful women had sex with him because he’s hot? They did it because he is powerful.”

The first witness, who was named as Jane Doe 1, gave evidence following these opening arguments. The unidentified woman, who was also shielded from being identified in court, told the jury of how she was forced to perform oral sex on Weinstein in a hotel room in 2013.

She said: “I was crying, choking.” According to US publication Deadline, the witness covered her mouth as she recounted her encounter with the producer.

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Throughout the trial, other accusers took to the stand to give evidence against Weinstein. This included Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California governor Gavin Newsome.

During the closing arguments of the trial, deputy district attorney Marlene Martinez said: “It is time for the defendant’s reign of terror to end. It is time for the kingmaker to be brought to justice.”

The jury broke for nine days of deliberation on the conclusion of the trial. Made up of eight men and four women, the jury found Weinstein guilty of rape, forced oral copulation and sexual penetration by a foreign object against Jane Doe 1.

They were unable to reach a conclusion on charges regarding Ms Newsome, as well as other charges against model Lauren Young, with these charges decalred a mistrial. He was found not guilty of one count of sexual battery by restraint.

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What happened in previous trials?

Weinstein was originally arrested and charged in New York in May 2018. He was found guilty of two of five felonies - one count of criminal sexual assault in the first degree and one count of rape in the third degree - and was subsequently handed a 23 year prision sentence.

He is currently serving his time at Wende Correctional Facility, New York. Weinstein will only be facing the possibility of release from 9 November 2039, when he will be 89 years-old.

Amid the allegations and trial, Weinstein was blacklisted from Hollywood circles. This included being thrown out of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which organises the annual Oscars ceremony.

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