Harvey Weinstein to Face Charges in Los Angeles as Early as May

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For a year, Harvey Weinstein has been fighting attempts to extradite him from a prison near Buffalo, N.Y., to Los Angeles, a city where he was once feted as a visionary film producer and now faces multiple charges of rape and sexual assault.

On Friday, a New York judge said that Mr. Weinstein could be taken into custody by California authorities on May 30, unless his lawyer comes up with a new argument or Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York decides to weigh in to halt the extradition.

Mr. Weinstein’s lawyer pledged to file a new motion to challenge the transfer. There has been no indication that Mr. Cuomo plans to intervene and a spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The judge, Kenneth Case of Erie County Court, said that if there were no further delays, California authorities could arrange Mr. Weinstein’s transfer in 30 days.

If Mr. Weinstein is transferred, he will be held in the jail ward of a Los Angeles County hospital while he awaits trial.

Mr. Weinstein, 69, was convicted of felony sex crimes in New York in 2020. He appeared Friday in a virtual hearing in front of an Erie County court judge, leaning his elbows on a table in front of him, wearing a maroon button-down shirt and nodding enthusiastically as his lawyer fought to further delay the proceedings.

The producer was first charged in California in January 2020 after two women said he assaulted them in 2013. One woman, an Italian model and actress, says Mr. Weinstein raped her in a Beverly Hills hotel, while another woman, also a model, says he trapped her in a bathroom while he groped her and masturbated.

In April, prosecutors added another charge, accusing Mr. Weinstein of sexually assaulting another woman, and in October, they added six additional counts of forcible sexual assault.

Mr. Weinstein faces a total of four counts each of forcible oral copulation and forcible rape, two counts of sexual battery by restraint and one count of sexual penetration by use of force, for crimes dating from 2004 to 2013 involving five different women.

If convicted of the most serious charges, Mr. Weinstein faces additional decades in prison, which he would serve after the 23-year sentence he is serving in New York. Earlier this month, Mr. Weinstein filed an appeal, asking for that conviction to be reversed.

In a statement after Friday’s hearing, one of Mr. Weinstein’s lawyers, Mark Werksman, said, “We are eager to defend Harvey against these spurious charges, but not unless he is first allowed a fair and lawful extradition process.”

Mr. Weinstein’s lawyers have mounted a furious battle to delay his transfer to California. Friday’s hearing came just over two weeks after another at which his extradition was delayed. His lawyers have consistently cited the pandemic as well as what they say is Mr. Weinstein’s ill health in their attempts to slow the process.

Mr. Weinstein could challenge his extradition by arguing that the authorities have the wrong man, that what he is accused of is not a crime, or that the paperwork filed to facilitate his transfer is faulty. Norman Effman, the lawyer representing him in New York, successfully argued over paperwork at Mr. Weinstein’s last court hearing.

In 2017, a number of women publicly accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual assault and other forms of misconduct, igniting the Me Too movement. Formal charges soon followed. Last year, the producer was found guilty of a first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape.

At this point, more than 90 women have accused him of sexual misconduct or assault. He has said that any sexual activity he engaged in was consensual.

“No one thought Harvey would ever see a courtroom,” said one of his accusers, Tarale Wulff, after he was sentenced in New York in March 2020. “I feel a sense of happiness. I hope the sentence sends a clear message that times have changed.”

Lauren Young, a model and actress, is one of the accusers in the Los Angeles case. She has accused Mr. Weinstein of trapping her in a hotel bathroom in Beverly Hills, groping her breast, masturbating and ejaculating on the floor.

A second accuser, who has not been identified in court documents, is an Italian model and actress who told prosecutors that Mr. Weinstein showed up at a Beverly Hills hotel where she was staying after she met him at a film festival. Mr. Weinstein forced oral sex and intercourse on her, according to a criminal complaint.

She told The Los Angeles Times in 2017 that Mr. Weinstein had bulled his way into her hotel room and after asking to see her naked, grabbed her by the hair.

“He then dragged me to the bathroom and forcibly raped me,” she said.

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