By Tim Fitzsimons and Diana Dasrath | NBC News
Convicted rapist and former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein will face extradition to California, where he is wanted to stand trial on criminal sexual assault charges, a New York judge ruled Tuesday.
Weinstein was convicted in New York of third-degree rape in February 2020 and sentenced to 23 years in prison shortly thereafter. He is serving his sentence at the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo.
Weinstein has been charged with 11 counts of sexual assault in California involving five women, accused of assaults in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013. The charges include rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual battery by restraint and sexual penetration by use of force.
“We are disappointed in this decision today,” Mark Werksman, Weinstein’s defense attorney, said in a statement.
“Just now, Mr. Weinstein’s attorney filed a writ of Habeas Corpus in the LA county Superior Court. We are asking the court to hold off the extradition of Mr. Weinstein to Los Angeles until he can receive his needed medical care here in New York.”
The writ says Weinstein’s rights would be violated by extradition to another state in part because of a degenerative eye condition that requires months of medical attention.
Elizabeth Fegan, the attorney for Jane Doe 4 in the Los Angeles case, said the court’s decision to OK Weinstein’s extradition to California was “excellent news.”
“He has used every excuse for delay — time’s up! He will have to answer again for his horrific sexual abuse,” Fegan said.
Gloria Allred, a lawyer representing two of the women in the Los Angeles County criminal case, said she was “very glad” about the ruling.
“I am looking forward to seeing Mr. Weinstein finally appear in Los Angeles to be arraigned on the many charges against him,” Allred said.
Louise Godbold, one of the many women who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault, said in a statement that she is “happy that five more women will have the chance to face their abuser in court.”
“Sadly, the statute of limitations means that at least a hundred more can only look on,” she said.
John Flynn, district attorney of Erie County in New York, said the next steps for Weinstein were in California officials’ hands.
“It is incumbent on Los Angeles County prosecutors to extradite Mr. Weinstein to California,” Flynn said in a statement. “The LA County DA’s Office indicated to our prosecutors that they would extradite Mr. Weinstein sometime between late-June and mid-July.”
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County district attorney said Weinstein “is entitled to a trial within 120 days from his arrival in Los Angeles, although it is unclear at this time when he will actually arrive in Los Angeles.”