After months of delays, Harvey Weinstein is finally on his way to Los Angeles to face multiple rape charges.
Facing up to a 140 years behind bars if found guilty in the California courts, the already incarcerated producer was bundled onto a plane in upstate New York early Tuesday morning for his extradition to the City of Angels.
“This morning at approximately 9:25 (a.m. ET) custody of Mr. Harvey Weinstein was handed over to the appropriate officials for transport to the state of California per a court order,” a New York State Department of Corrections spokesman confirmed in a prepared statement.
Still in flight, Weinstein is expected to be arraignment Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Barring any sudden change of plans, the 69-year-old convicted sex offender will remain at downtown L.A.’s Twin Towers jail from his previous abode in the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo, NY, until the L.A. proceedings are over – which will likely take months.
Local prosecutors have to bring the matter to trial within 120 days under extradition protocols. The L.A. County D.A.’s office did not return request for comment today on Weinstein’s extradition.
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Regardless of whether the D.A.’s team is talking now or not, the reality is Weinstein faces four counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, one count of sexual penetration by use of force, plus two counts of sexual battery by restraint and sexual battery in incidents involving five women from 2004-2013 in Los Angeles County.
Seeking the media spotlight in what was ultimately an unsuccessful election year, then-L.A. DA Jackie Lacey first announced the charges on January 6, 2020, the day Weinstein’s Manhattan sex crimes trial started; more L.A. charges were added later. In April of this year, current L.A. DA George Gascón’s office convened a grand jury and 11 new counts of sexual assault were levied against Weinstein, mirroring in many ways the previous charges faced by the Pulp Fiction EP.
Even though a New York State judge ruled last month that Weinstein would be headed to L.A., the producer’s lawyers and reps were caught somewhat by surprise this morning with the actual move after a long-ish court battle to stop or halt the extradition.
“In April we were trying to negotiate an agreement to waive extradition for transfer to L.A. on June 15th,” said a Weinstein spokesperson to Deadline. “We are disappointed that the L.A. DA didn’t wait for the judge’s ruling, but we did expect this to happen at some point. We will be fighting so that Harvey can receive his needed medical care and of course, so that he can be treated fairly. Due process, presumption of innocence and a fair trial are all still his right.”
The West Coast isn’t the only place Weinstein is involved in legal proceedings. In April, the constantly ailing Weinstein filed his long-anticipated appeal on the 23-year sentence he began serving on March 11, 2020 after being found guilty of two sex crime felony charges in the Empire State. The office of retiring Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. has not filed a response to that appeal yet.