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Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to LA rape charges

Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of rape and sexual assault charges in Los Angeles on Wednesday.The 69-year-old was extradited the day before from New York, where he was serving 23 years in jail for separate rape and sexual assault charges.In L.A, he is accused of attacking five women- raping two women at hotels in Beverly Hills, AND sexually assaulting three other women in the Beverly Hills or Los Angeles areas. If convicted, Weinstein could spend the rest of his life in prison.He has denied having nonconsensual sex with anyone and is appealing his New York conviction.Weinstein’s lawyer Mark Werksman said outside the courthouse Wednesday there was no forensic evidence or credible witnesses to the allegations.”And we’re confident that if we can have a fair trial in this case, that Mr. Weinstein will be acquitted.”Werksman added that he was seeking dismissal of three charges dating back to 2004 and 2005, on the grounds that California’s 10 year statute of limitations has expired.Weinstein had been fighting extradition to California on medical grounds, and his lawyer said he was going blind in one eye and unable to walk because of back problems.More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct going back decades, but only a handful of the allegations have resulted in criminal charges.After entering his not guilty plea on Wednesday, Weinstein was ordered to remain in jail until the next hearing on July 29.

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