Choose OKs Weinstein’s extradition for California rape case
A New York decide on Tuesday permitted disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein’s extradition to California, the place he faces extra sexual assault costs, ending a authorized struggle extended by the COVID-19 pandemic, the protection’s considerations about Weinstein’s failing well being and a squabble over paperwork.
Choose Kenneth Case stated there was no motive to delay Weinstein’s switch any longer, denying his lawyer’s request to maintain him at a state jail close to Buffalo — the place he’s serving a 23-year sentence for a rape conviction final yr — till the beginning of jury choice within the Los Angeles case.
Los Angeles authorities plan to gather Weinstein, 69, from the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, on the finish of June or in early July, prosecutors stated at Tuesday’s extradition listening to in Buffalo, giving Weinstein’s lawyer time to enchantment Choose Case’s choice.
Weinstein’s lawyer, Norman Effman, argued he ought to stay in Wende’s hospital-like maximum-security setting whereas receiving remedy for maladies together with a lack of eyesight, fairly than being shipped cross-country to a Los Angeles jail cell. His suggestion that Weinstein as an alternative be arraigned by video was additionally rejected.
“What we had been attempting to do is just not keep away from the trial, however keep away from an pointless keep in a jail fairly than a jail,” Effman stated, claiming pre-trial detention in California would rob Weinstein of wanted medical care.
Erie County Assistant District Lawyer Colleen Curtin Gable, arguing in favor of Weinstein’s extradition, retorted: “It’s Los Angeles. It’s not some distant outpost that doesn’t have any kind of medical care.”
Weinstein faces 11 sexual assault counts in California involving 5 ladies, stemming from alleged assaults in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013. The fees embrace rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual battery by restraint and sexual penetration by use of drive.
Los Angeles prosecutors first charged Weinstein in January 2020, simply as jury choice was getting underway within the New York Metropolis case that resulted in his conviction and imprisonment.
Weinstein is interesting the decision that he raped an aspiring actress in 2013 in a Manhattan resort room and forcibly carried out oral intercourse on TV and movie manufacturing assistant in 2006 at his Manhattan condo.
As a result of Weinstein is incarcerated in New York, Case’s authorization was wanted with the intention to switch him to the custody of Los Angeles authorities below the phrases of an interstate extradition settlement.
One different manner Weinstein’s transfer might have been blocked was by an objection from New York’s governor, however Gable stated there was no such motion by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Weinstein, showing through video from the Wende jail, positioned his arms on his mask-covered face after Case introduced his choice. Earlier within the listening to, Weinstein had the masks drooping from his proper ear as he sat in what gave the impression to be a jail assembly room.
Along with considerations about Weinstein’s well being, Effman questioned the legitimacy of extradition paperwork filed by Los Angeles authorities, which he stated was faulty as a result of it listed solely a number of the costs.
“We’re difficult the paperwork as a result of it’s not proper. It’s mistaken… They only copied the shape and altered the date,” Effman informed Case.
Gable stated the paperwork “completely met the necessities” of the extradition settlement.
Gable additionally challenged Effman’s claims about Weinstein’s well being, telling the decide Weinstein final week rejected a prescribed remedy for his eye situation as a result of he stated he “wasn’t psychologically prepared for it” and that jail officers cycled by ophthalmologists looking for one “acceptable to the defendant.”
Weinstein has myriad well being issues and his situation has worsened since he’s been in prisons, in accordance with his legal professionals, together with a bout with COVID-19 two weeks after his sentencing in March 2020.
Weinstein has diabetes, in depth coronary artery illness, anemia, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, power decrease again ache, sciatica , power leg ache and arthritis that extreme limits his potential to stroll, and eye illnesses which have severely degraded his imaginative and prescient, his legal professionals stated.
“Each inmate has an absolute proper to acceptable remedy when she or he is in custody,” Gable stated. “However they do not have a say in when and the place they get their remedy, and there’s completely nothing in both physician’s report that claims this remedy can’t be executed in Los Angeles.”
Comply with Michael Sisak on Twitter at twitter.com/mikesisak.