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Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to sexual assault charges in LA

Harvey Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual assault in Los Angeles.

The disgraced Hollywood mogul, 69, appeared in court in a wheelchair after he was extradited from New York.

He is currently serving a 23-year jail sentence for crimes of a similar nature to those he faces in LA.

Weinstein appeared in the city where he made his name as a producer, charged with 11 counts of sexual assault in California relating to five women.

They are said to have occurred between 2004 and 2013.

He insists he is innocent and has said any sexual activity that took place was consensual. He is also against his conviction in New York.

His lawyer, Mark Werksman, entered a not guilty plea to all charges and said he planned to challenge three of the counts, citing the state’s statute of limitations.

Weinstein, wearing a creased, brown prison-issue shirt and trousers with a blue disposable face mask, spoke briefly during the five-minute part of the hearing open to the public. 

Judge Sergio Tapia told him, “good luck Mr Weinstein”, to which the convicted rapist replied: “Thank you very much.”

Some 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct with some allegations dating back several decades.

Almost all of the allegations were first reported in 2017 and contributed to the #MeToo movement. The viral campaign encouraged victims to share experiences of sexual harassment.

Few of the allegations have led to criminal charges.

Weinstein was behind major movies including Shakespeare in Love, which won the Oscar for best picture in 1999.

Source: Evening Standard

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