A New York judge on Tuesday approved the extradition of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein to California, where he faces additional sexual assault charges, ending a legal fight prolonged by the COVID-19 pandemic, Weinstein’s failing health, and a squabble over paperwork.
Judge Kenneth Case said there was no reason to delay Weinstein’s transfer any longer, denying his lawyer’s request to keep him at a state prison near Buffalo — where he is serving a 23-year sentence for a rape conviction last year — until the start of jury selection in the Los Angeles case.
Weinstein faces 11 sexual assault counts in California involving five women, stemming from alleged 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.
Because Weinstein is incarcerated in New York, Case’s authorization was needed in order to transfer him to the custody of Los Angeles authorities under the terms of an interstate extradition agreement.
Weinstein has myriad health problems and his condition has worsened since he’s been in prisons, according to his lawyers, including a bout with COVID-19. He has diabetes, extensive coronary artery disease, anemia, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, chronic lower back pain, sciatica , chronic leg pain and arthritis that severe limits his ability to walk, and eye ailments that have severely degraded his vision, his lawyers claim.
He won’t get a lot of sympathy for that in Los Angeles.