Harvey Weinstein to be charged in UK over assault claims

Harvey Weinstein to be charged in UK over assault claims

LONDON (AP) — British prosecutors said Wednesday they have authorized police to charge former film mogul Harvey Weinstein with two counts of indecent assault against a woman in London in 1996.

The Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement that “charges have been authorized” against Weinstein, 70, following a review of evidence gathered by London’s Metropolitan Police.

Police said the alleged offenses against the woman, now in her 50s, took place in during July and August 1996.

After revelations about Weinstein emerged in 2017, British police said they were investigating multiple allegations of sexual assault that reportedly took place between the 1980s and 2015.

Unlike many other countries, Britain does not have a statute of limitations for rape or sexual assault.

Weinstein, the co-founder of the Miramax entertainment company and The Weinstein Company film studio, was once one of the most powerful people in Hollywood, having produced films such as “Pulp Fiction” and “The Crying Game.”

He became the most prominent villain of the #MeToo movement after women began to go public in 2017 with accounts of his behavior.

Weinstein is serving a 23-year sentence after his 2020 conviction in New York for raping an aspiring actress in a New York City hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulting production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in 2006.

He is jailed in California, where he was extradited last year, and is awaiting trial on charges he assaulted five women in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills from 2004 to 2013.

It’s not clear if the UK plans to seek Weinstein’s extradition so he could stand trial in Britain.

The announcement in England on Wednesday came two weeks after UK prosecutors authorized police to charge actor Kevin Spacey with four counts of sexual assault against three men. The alleged incidents took place in London between March 2005 and August 2008, and one in western England in April 2013.

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