Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul facing trial for sexual abuse in New York City, was charged in L.A. with sexually assaulting two women. The charges include raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents on two consecutive days in February 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," District Attorney Jackie Lacey said, adding that prosecutors were recommending bail be set at $5 million.
If convicted as charged, he faces up to 28 years in state prison. He has denied all accusations of nonconsensual sexual activity.
News of these charges come hours after Rose McGowan, Rosanna Arquette and other famous women who have accused Weinstein of misconduct rallied outside an NYC courthouse where he arrived for his first day of trial.
McGowan said: "Dear Harvey, no matter what lies you tell yourself — you did this. Today Lady Justice is staring down a super predator — you. You brought this upon yourself by hurting so many. You have only yourself to blame. I came here today to see this through."
"We are free, we are beautiful, we are strong — and you will never take this from us," she said. "Survivors will never give up."
She continued: "How we get the courage is because living in silence is a death sentence to your soul. Because when you get killed by being raped you carry around that dead person inside of you until you can find a way to birth it. For me, birthing that was through using my voice."
The 67-year-old entered the courthouse hobbling over a walker after reported back surgery. He is facing charges of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel in 2013 and a forcible sex act on another woman in 2006. Jury selection begins today (Tuesday).