LOS ANGELES (CN) – Ahead of a criminal trial on similar charges that begins this week, prosecutors in Los Angeles charged fallen Hollywood film executive Harvey Weinstein on Monday with rape and other sex charges stemming from a 2013 incident.
Prosecutors say Weinstein raped an unnamed woman on Feb. 18, 2013, after she returned to her LA hotel room following a Hollywood film festival that Weinstein also attended, according to the criminal indictment unsealed Monday.
The next day, Weinstein sexually assaulted another unnamed woman in a separate incident in his hotel suite in Beverly Hills, the indictment states.
Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey told reporters Monday that Weinstein faces four counts of sexual assault, including charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint.
“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit crimes against them,” Lacey said in a statement Monday. “I want to commend the victims who have come forward and bravely recounted what happened to them.”
Lacey, who said her office is determining whether to file charges in three additional cases, urged other potential victims to come forward, even if they believe their stories are “too old or unprovable.”
The DA established a task force in 2017 to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct by actors and film executives in Hollywood. She said Monday that although more than 40 cases have been presented by the task force, she has declined to file charges in many cases due to insufficient evidence, unwillingness of victims to share their stories or because the statute of limitations had expired.
Although the names of the accusers were not released, Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson told reporters one of the women is expected to testify in the New York trial.
The women reported the incidents to LA and Beverly Hills police departments in 2017.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore and Beverly Hills Police Department Chief Sandra Spagnoli told reporters Monday their investigations are ongoing.
Weinstein has denied allegations that he forced women to have nonconsensual sex with him.
Juda Engelmayer, Weinstein’s publicist, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
An arraignment date for Weinstein has not yet been determined, though prosecutors have recommended bail be set at $5 million.
Weinstein faces up to 28 years in state prison if convicted on all charges.
While the New York trial gets underway, Lacey said a timeline for the LA County case remains unclear but that prosecutors in both cities are coordinating with each other.
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