Judge Clears Way For Harvey Weinstein’s Extradition To Los Angeles; Will Transfer From New York By Mid-July

A New York judge on Tuesday cleared the way for the extradition of Harvey Weinstein to Los Angeles, where he is facing a new set of sexual assault charges as he serves a 23-year sentence in New York.

Erie County prosecutors said that Los Angeles officials would probably not transfer Weinstein to California until the end of this month of the first half of July.

Judge Kenneth Case denied Weinstein lawyers’ petition opposing the extradition, as they had argued that Los Angeles prosecutors failed to properly fill out paperwork and expressed concerns that the producer would not have access to proper medical treatment while awaiting arraignment.

“Based upon everything that I have read and that I have heard … I will respectfully deny your petition,” Case told Weinstein’s attorney in Erie County, Norman Effman. “But if California doesn’t come to pick up Mr. Weinstein within a reasonable period of time, certainly come back to see me. But based on all of the circumstances, and as I say the paperwork and argument I have heard, I respectfully deny the request.”

Effman indicated that they would appeal the judge’s ruling.

Weinstein has been behind bars since March of last year, when he was sentenced to 23 years in prison after being found guilty of two counts of felony sex crimes. His lawyers are appealing that conviction.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Weinstein appeared via teleconference from the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo, NY, where he is serving his sentence. He wore a burgundy shirt and a white mask, taking it off and putting it back on at one point. Nearby was a walker, which he also used during his trial last year.

A Los Angeles grand jury in April returned a new sealed indictment against Weinstein that includes 11 counts of sexual assault. The charges involve five women in incidents that date to 2004.

The extradition has been delayed as Weinstein’s lawyers challenged the transfer, arguing that Los Angeles prosecutors failed to outline the full charges against the defendant in the extradition paperwork. His attorneys also raised issues related to Weinstein’s health, citing his vision problems, and that he has pending surgeries in New York. During the hearing, Effman noted that Weinstein was at a medical wing in Wende, and seemed to suggest that a jail in Los Angeles would not offer the same access to care.

“What we are trying to do is not to avoid a trial but to avoid an unnecessary phase in a jail, rather than a prison,” he said.

But prosecutors pushed back against those claims, arguing that the extradition documents were complete. They also said that steps were taken to meet with Weinstein’s request for an eye doctor, and an ophthalmologist who examined him recently gave no indication that he would not be able to receive treatment in another city.

The original charges in Los Angeles against Weinstein included four counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, one count of sexual penetration by use of force, and two counts of sexual battery by restraint and sexual battery. The incidents involved five women from 2004-2013. He has denied those charges, as well as those in New York.

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