Ahead of Harvey Weinstein's Los Angeles trial on sex crime charges, prosecutors announced Friday that the disgraced producer will now face an additional charge of sexual assault on the amended indictment.
"We are continuing to build and strengthen our case," Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement. "As we gather corroborating evidence, we have reached out to other possible sexual assault victims. If we find new evidence of a previously unreported crime, as we did here, we will investigate and determine whether additional criminal charges should be filed."
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The newly added felony count of sexual battery by restraint stems from an alleged incident that occurred in May 11th, 2010 at a Beverly Hills hotel. While the victim and the specifics of the assault weren't revealed, prosecutors said that because the victim — who they first approached as a potential corroborating witness in October 2019 — provided evidence of the assault in March 2020, the incident fell within the 10-year statute of limitation.
In the Los Angeles case, Weinstein faces one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint for separate incidents involving two women in 2013. If found guilty to all charges, Weinstein could receive up to 29 years in state prison.
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Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence after being found guilty on two charges in his New York trial. Not long into his prison stint, Weinstein tested positive for the novel coronavirus, but he has since recovered. "As of now, it's been 14 days since reports of concern from people inside the prison, and he has no symptoms and no issues," Weinstein's spokesperson told Reuters Thursday.
Los Angeles prosecutors also initiated the extradition process from New York by requesting for the temporary custody of Weinstein, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak an estimated extradition date is "unknown."
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