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Weinstein sentencing in LA rape case postponed

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Former film producer Harvey Weinstein faces up to 18 years in prison for a Los Angeles rape conviction, in addition to his 23-year sentence in New York for sex crimes./AFP
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Jan 10, 2023 - 07:41 AM

LOS ANGELES — A sentencing hearing for former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein over the rape of a woman in a Beverly Hills hotel room a decade ago was postponed on Monday.

The Oscar-winning former producer, 70, is already serving a 23-year sentence for his 2020 conviction in New York for sex crimes.

He faces a possible further 18-year-term in California, increasing the likelihood the “Pulp Fiction” producer will spend the rest of his life in prison, even as he appeals both cases.

In the Los Angeles case, he was convicted on December 19 of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual penetration by a foreign object of a woman identified in court as “Jane Doe #1.”

The trial heard graphic descriptions of encounters between the once-powerful producer and women who were trying to make their way in the world of movies.

Prosecutors painted a picture of a predatory ogre, who for years used his professional heft to rape and abuse women with impunity.

His victims were left terrorized and afraid for their careers if they spoke out against a man who dominated Tinseltown, prosecutors said.

While he was convicted in the Los Angeles case of assaulting one woman, the jury acquitted him of sexual battery involving a second.

They did not reach a verdict on charges relating to the alleged assaults of two other women, one of whom was identified by her lawyers as Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the now-wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Weinstein is appealing the verdict.

A hearing on a defense motion for a new trial was scheduled for February 23.

Judge Lisa Lench said Monday that if the motion is denied, sentencing will take place that day.

In New York last June, Weinstein lost his first appeal against his verdict and sentence in the state’s intermediate appellate court.

But he has further appealed to the higher New York Court of Appeals.

Rumors of Weinstein’s behavior had circulated in Hollywood for years, but his position at the apex of the industry meant few were prepared to challenge him.

That all changed in 2017 with the publication of bombshell allegations against him, ushering in the #MeToo movement and opening the floodgates for women to speak out against sexual violence in the workplace.

Dozens of women have since alleged they fell victim to Weinstein’s predatory behavior.

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