On Monday, Harvey Weinstein’s criminal trial for charges relating to the sexual assault of two women began. Of the roughly 100 women who have accused him of everything from sexual harassment to rape, two cases — one from 2006 and one from 2013, will be tried in Manhattan criminal court. The criminal proceedings begin just as Weinstein reached a settlement in an international civil suit with some of his accusers. The settlement did not require Weinstein to admit any wrongdoing in the cases, and the money paid in the settlement was paid out by his former production company’s insurance.
Weinstein’s lawyers attempted to get ahead of the case by trying to smear his accusers in powerpoints sent to reporters, according to a report by The Cut. The package included slides titled things like “5 Illustrations Why HW’s Accusers are not Credible,” and included photos of women who accused Weinstein smiling with the disgraced film producer.
Weinstein has been accused of predatory behavior ranging from harassment to sexual assault by Rosanna Arquette, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, and Daryl Hannah. Other actresses like Salma Hayek and Lupita Nyong’o have detailed experiences where he abused his standing as a well regarded and powerful Hollywood producer to put them in compromising situations.
Monday’s pretrial hearing determined that Weinstein’s defense could not call disgraced NYPD detective Nicholas DiGaudio to testify, according to the New York Times. DiGaudio was reportedly going to give testimony to cast doubt on the police department’s investigations into the assaults. On Tuesday jury selection will begin, according to the Times. The selection period is slated to last for two weeks, at which point the trial will begin. The trial is expected to last for eight weeks.
Overall, six women will testify against Weinstein, including the two he is standing trial for assaulting. Mimi Haleyi alleges that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in a hotel room in 2006. The woman from the 2013 case has not been named – Weinstein has been indicted for raping her.
In California, just a few hours after Weinstein hobbled into Manhattan criminal court on the New York charges, he was indicted in the county of Los Angeles on felony charges of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint, according to CNN. The charges are from two incidents with two different women that happened over the course of two days in 2013.
"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," Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement on Monday.
Weinstein maintains that both alleged New York assaults were consensual sexual encounters. If convicted on the count of rape and the count of a criminal sexual act, Weinstein could face a maximum charge of life in prison.