New York Daily News

Harvey: Uh, I didn’t rape those women

- BY NANCY DILLON

LOS ANGELES — Harvey Weinstein finally made his California courtroom debut Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to charges he raped three women and sexually assaulted two others during the height of his Hollywood fame.

The once-powerful movie mogul turned convicted rapist was pushed into the courtroom in a wheelchair wearing a wrinkled brown jail uniform, handcuffs and what looked like a hospital wristband.

His blue medical mask was slung under his nose for his first court appearance since the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office first filed charges against him in January 2020.

His lawyer Mark Werksman entered the not guilty plea on his behalf as Weinstein watched from a defendant’s pen with two deputies positioned behind him.

Werksman requested permission to file demurrers against three counts in the indictment, saying the charges for an alleged rape dating to about 2004 and an alleged sexual battery in 2010 were too old to prosecute. He also submitted a request for a medical evaluation. Superior Court Judge Sergio Tapia granted both requests and set a followup hearing for July 29.

“Good luck, Mr. Weinstein,” the judge said.

“Thank you very much,” Weinstein replied.

Previously convicted of rape and sex assault in Manhattan, the pariah producer was extradited from the Wende Correction­al Facility near Buffalo and flown west Tuesday after a series of delays due to the pandemic and claims he was too ill to travel.

Weinstein, 69, was secretly indicted on 11 counts by a grand jury in March. The indictment was unsealed Wednesday. The earliest incident involves the alleged forcible rape of a woman at a Beverly Hills hotel between Sept. 1, 2004, and Sept. 30, 2005, prosecutor­s said.

Speaking after the hearing, Werksman said the charges were outside the bounds of “any reasonable interpreta­tion of the 10-year statute of limitation­s.”

According to prosecutor­s, Weinstein went on to rape another woman on two separate occasions in November 2009 and November 2010, also inside Beverly Hills hotel rooms.

The toppled Tinseltown titan then sexually assaulted a third victim at a Beverly Hills hotel in May 2010 before going on to rape a fourth woman at a Los Angeles hotel on Feb. 18, 2013, prosecutor­s said.

The most recent incident charged in the case is the alleged sexual assault of a fifth woman at a Beverly Hills hotel a day later on Feb. 19, 2013, prosecutor­s said.

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