A hearing on whether to extradite Harvey Weinstein to face sex crimes charges in Los Angeles has been postponed due to concerns about the pandemic.
Weinstein was set to appear on Friday via Skype for a hearing before Judge Kenneth Case in Buffalo. The hearing was continued to 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 11, according to a spokesperson for the Erie County District Attorney’s office.
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Erie County District Attorney John Flynn told reporters that the hearing was postponed pursuant to an agreement between Weinstein’s lawyers and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
“Our office has agreed with the defense to delay the extradition 120 days due to pandemic concerns,” said Greg Risling, a spokesman for the Los Angeles office.
Los Angeles prosecutors want to try Weinstein on five charges, including rape and sexual battery, connected to three alleged victims.
Weinstein’s attorneys have argued that the request is premature, because the Los Angeles court system appears to be unable to handle the trial any time soon. The pandemic has slowed the extradition process, and has interrupted trials and other proceedings in the Los Angeles courts.
One of Weinstein’s attorneys, Norman Effman, also told Variety that Weinstein’s health could be put at risk if he is forced to spend an extended amount of time in Los Angeles County jail. Once extradited, the District Attorney’s Office would have 120 days to bring Weinstein to trial, Effman said.
Weinstein is serving a 23-year sentence at the Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison outside of Buffalo. He was convicted at his New York trial in February on third-degree rape and committing a “criminal sexual act.”
Weinstein is also accused in Los Angeles of raping and sexually assaulting two women within a 48-hour period in February 2013. He also faces a count of sexual battery for an incident at a hotel in May 2010.
If convicted on the Los Angeles charges, he could face an additional 29 years in prison.
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