The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told a judge on Wednesday that it is ready to bring Harvey Weinstein to trial within four months on charges of rape and sexual assault.
Weinstein is still in prison in upstate New York, where he has been fighting his extradition since April. A judge in Buffalo, N.Y., gave approval on June 15 to move Weinstein to Los Angeles, with the transfer expected sometime in July.
But Weinstein’s lawyers have continued to pursue their objections, this time in Los Angeles. In a petition last month, Weinstein’s lawyers said he is suffering from a severe cataract in his right eye and an active lesion in his left eye, and that in order to avoid going blind, he needs treatment that could take six to nine months. They have asked that the extradition be delayed until after the treatment is over, when they say he will be medically ready for the transfer.
Under the law, Los Angeles prosecutors have 120 days to bring Weinstein to trial once he is transferred. Weinstein’s lawyers argue that the D.A.’s office knows it cannot bring Weinstein to trial within that time frame because of his health problems.
In their response filed this week, prosecutors said that the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department can provide adequate care, and that the D.A.’s office has no problem with the 120-day deadline to start the trial.
“The People are ready to bring Petitioner to trial,” wrote Deputy District Attorney Cassandra Thorpe.
Weinstein’s lawyers argue that the D.A.’s position forces Weinstein either to forgo the treatment, and risk going blind, or waive his right to a speedy trial once extradited.
Weinstein was convicted in February 2020 of rape and sexual assault, and was sentenced to 23 years in prison. He is facing 11 additional counts, pertaining to five women, in Los Angeles.