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Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein charged with sexual assault and rape in Los Angeles

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Disgraced Hollywood film producer, Harvey Weinstein has been charged in Los Angeles with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013.

The 67-year-old now faces new felony charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement.

“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.

The charges came hours after Weinstein appeared in a New York court for the start of his criminal trial on similar charges in a separate case and after his attorney, Donna Rotunna said any new charges would be “highly prejudicial” to a jury in the New York case.

According to the criminal complaint, Weinstein and a woman attended a Hollywood film festival on February 17, 2013, and later that night, he knocked on her hotel room door and was allowed entry into her room. Once inside, they talked briefly before he allegedly attacked the woman, forced her to perform oral sex on him, digitally penetrated her vagina and raped her, the complaint says.

She said that she did not disclose the assault because he threatened her life if she spoke, the complaint says. The charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual penetration by use relate to that incident.

On February 19, Weinstein met with a woman and her acquaintance for a business meeting at a hotel eatery in West Los Angeles, the complaint says. Weinstein persuaded the two to accompany him to his hotel suite, and one woman unwittingly followed him into the bathroom, the complaint says.

He allegedly took off his clothes and prevented her from leaving, and then he held her in place by her breast as he masturbated, the complaint says. He faces a charge of felony sexual battery by restraint for that incident, Lacey said.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of “nonconsensual sexual activity” related to the New York case and other claims made against him.

Weinstein’s career collapsed in October 2018, after numerous accusations of sexual harassment and assault were leveled against him.

Since then more than 80 women including young female assistants and actresses have come forward to accuse him of various sexual harassment and assaults.

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