Harvey Weinstein Faces New Charges Of Rape And Assault As Trial Begins

Disgraced movie tycoon Harvey Weinstein has been hit with new criminal charges by Los Angeles prosecutors during a separate rape trial in New York.

Weinstein has been charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in 2013 over a two-day period. Charges include forcible rape, sexual penetration by use of force, sexual battery by restraint and forcible oral copulation.

“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement.

Prosecutors say Weinstein, 67, allegedly forced entry into a woman’s hotel room on February 18, 2013, and raped her. He is accused of sexually assaulting another woman at a hotel suite in Beverly Hills the following evening.

Previously Weinstein pleaded not guilty to five charges during the New York trial which relate to alleged incidents in 2006 and 2013.

He faces life in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, predatory sexual assault.

More than 80 women have come forward accusing Weinstein of sexual misconduct dating back decades.

If Weinstein is acquitted it is likely he will still face legal issues with at least 29 women in the United States, Canada, and Europe bringing civil rights claims against him.

Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at US$5 million.