Prosecutors in LA have brought an indictment against Weinstein, charging the producer with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013, said Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” she said in a statement. “I want to commend the victims who have come forward and bravely recounted what happened to them.”
Weinstein could face up to 28 years in state prison if convicted, Lacey said Monday in a news conference. His bail will be set at $5 million.
She also noted that each of the women told friends about the attacks in 2013 and reported them to police in 2017 amid the Me Too movement, the sexual misconduct reckoning inextricably linked to Weinstein.
Lacey’s office launched a special task force on sexual assault in 2017 amid the litany of accusations against the onetime Hollywood kingmaker, whose rape and sexual assault trial in New York began this week.
The new charges will intensify the scrutiny against Weinstein, whom more than 80 women accused of sexual assault or battery in 2017. He has denied the allegations, with his legal team largely claiming the incidents were consensual.
Jury selection for his trial in New York is set to begin Tuesday. Six women are expected to testify about sexual attacks they faced from Weinstein, who could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted on all of those counts.