Tuesday, 21 Mar 2023

Prosecutors Will Not Retry Harvey Weinstein on Remaining Charges in Los Angeles

Los Angeles County prosecutors said on Tuesday that they would not retry Harvey Weinstein, the once-powerful movie producer who has been sentenced to nearly 40 years in prison, on three sexual assault charges that resulted in a deadlocked jury last year.

After the announcement, Judge Lisa B. Lench of Los Angeles Superior Court dismissed the three remaining counts against Mr. Weinstein, effectively ending the criminal case against him in Los Angeles County.

A jury in Los Angeles Superior Court had deadlocked on those charges — sexual battery by restraint, forcible oral copulation and forcible rape — in December. All three related to accusations brought by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and the wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, and Lauren Young, a model and screenwriter.

But the jury found Mr. Weinstein guilty of three other counts — rape, forcible oral sex and sexual penetration — involving an Italian actress who testified that he attacked her in a hotel room in 2013. The jury acquitted Mr. Weinstein of one count of sexual battery involving a massage therapist.

After the mixed verdict, Mr. Weinstein, 70, was sentenced last month to 16 years in prison for the convictions in Los Angeles County, a term he was ordered to serve after he completes a 23-year sentence that he received in New York after he was convicted of sex crimes in 2020.

Ms. Young, who said she had been assaulted by Mr. Weinstein at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., in 2013, wrote in a letter to the judge on Tuesday that she was “very disappointed” that prosecutors had decided not to retry Mr. Weinstein on the sexual battery charge on which he was indicted and which she testified about during the trial.

“I wanted the retrial, because even though the defendant has been convicted in New York and California of crimes against other women, I wanted him to be held accountable for what he did to me,” Ms. Young wrote in the letter, which was released by her lawyer, Gloria Allred.

In a separate letter to Judge Lench, Ms. Siebel Newsom thanked the court for allowing her to speak after prosecutors made the decision not to retry Mr. Weinstein. Ms. Siebel Newsom did not state whether she agreed with the decision but thanked the court for sentencing Mr. Weinstein to 16 years.

She had said that Mr. Weinstein raped her in 2005 in his Beverly Hills hotel room after she agreed to meet him to discuss her career.

“I fluctuate between being my normal, confident self and feeling shame that I somehow could have prevented what happened to me,” Ms. Siebel Newsom wrote. “But I do have a heightened sense of anxiety in relationships in that it takes me a while to trust anyone. Weinstein took away my ability to trust.”

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement on Tuesday that the decision not to retry Mr. Weinstein had come after “extensive discussions and consultation” with his accusers and a witness.

“This was a difficult decision but we tried to make the best decision for everyone involved,” the office said. “As it currently stands Mr. Weinstein has been sentenced to 39 years in two different jurisdictions and will likely not live long enough to serve these terms. We hope that the victims in this case can find peace in knowing that Mr. Weinstein will never be able to prey on another woman again.”

Mark Werksman, a lawyer who represents Mr. Weinstein, said that prosecutors were “wise to dismiss charges they know they cannot prove.”

“We will now focus on Mr. Weinstein’s appeals here in California and in New York,” Mr. Werksman said in an email.

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