Due to objections by the incarcerated producer’s East Coast lawyer over the latest developments in the City of Angels, further discussion on the interstate transfer has been pushed to April 30 at 9:30 AM ET. In the faint hope of moving this much-mired matter along, Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case wants paperwork from Weinstein’s attorney Norman Effman by April 20 and response from the local District Attorney by April 27.
Mirroring the previous charges that the Pulp Fiction EP already faced on the West Coast, the newly minted 11 counts of sexual assault from the City of Angels grand jury are presently under seal. Alhough the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office had no comment on the alleged grand jury proceedings of late last week, sources tell Deadline the purpose of the move by D.A George Gascón’s team is to fast-track a potential Weinstein trial in L.A.
Confirming the secret indictment today, Effman noted on camera during Monday’s short-ish hearing that he had read the sealed material just before the weekend. “One of the charges has been changed somewhat,” Effman stated, asserting it was due to a fine-tuning of the timeline of one of the claims.
Under the previous Los Angeles charges that could result in decades more behind bars if found guilty, the 69-year-old Weinstein faces 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 in incidents involving five women from 2004-2013. Aiming for maximum media exposure in an election year, the charges were first announced by former L.A. DA Jackie Lacey last year, the day Weinstein’s Manhattan sex crimes trial started, with more added later.
“We’re not trying to avoid what is going to happen in California,” Effman told Case and others in the semi-virtual hearing today. “We believe there is not only a defense to these charges, we believe there is a very good defense to these charges, we believe there will be an acquittal,” he added, throwing in “Mr. Weinstein isn’t going anywhere.”
Wearing a burgundy colored outfit, the Oscar-winning producer himself was seen on camera sitting in a stark conference room from the maximum security Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo, NY. Hindering the start of the hearing on Monday, that feed was interrupted just as Case took his seat in the upstate NY courtroom.
When he was seen on screen, Weinstein was occasionally accompanied by a masked female associate of Effman’s. Weinstein’s West Coast attorney Mark Werksman observed today’s hearing for his client. The LA Country District Attorney’s office was also in an observation mode for the hearing.
Today’s hearing also comes a week after Weinstein filed his long-anticipated appeal on the 23-year sentence he began serving on March 11, 2020 after being found guilty of two sex crime felony charges. The office of retiring Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance Jr. has not yet filed a response to that appeal.
Further complicating the complex legal issues around the disgraced and much accused Weinstein’s cases are the “multiple medical issues” he is dealing with, Effman said today. Already a spanner in the works has made itself clear, with sight and dental procedures scheduled for the near-blind Weinstein in the upcoming months.
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