Harvey Weinstein, a former movie producer, pleaded not guilty to 11 sexual assault counts in Los Angeles on Wednesday after being charged with sexually assaulting five women in separate incidents.
He appeared in court just one day after being extradited from New York, where he is serving a 23-year prison sentence for first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree rape.
The indictment in California includes four counts of forcible rape and four counts of forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraint, and one count of sexual penetration by force.
According to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, the alleged offences occurred over a nearly ten-year period.
“Anyone who abuses their power and influence to prey upon others will be brought to justice,” he said in an issued statement.
The former Hollywood mogul is due back in court on July 29 for a motions hearing.
Prosecutors claimed Weinstein raped a woman in a hotel between 2004 and 2005, and another woman in a hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on two separate occasions in 2009 and 2010.
He is also accused of sexually assaulting another woman in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2010, as well as sexually assaulting two women in separate incidents in 2013.
Weinstein’s attorney, Mark Werksman, has stated that he will seek to have some of the charges dropped.
“The big picture is these allegations stem from many years ago and that’s the problem the district attorney’s office is going to face,” he told KCBS-TV. “That’s the problem that all of these accusers face. They brought allegations that can’t be substantiated or corroborated.”