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Disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is already serving more than two decades in prison for a rape conviction in New York, faces new sex crimes charges in Los Angeles in a trial that could last several weeks.  Jury selection began Monday in the sprawling case that could further the downfall of Weinstein, the once-powerful Hollywood producer. The new trial is also likely to throw a spotlight back on the #MeToo movement, which spurred a reckoning over sexual assault in the movie industry and across a breadth of workplaces and institutions.  Prosecutors in Los Angeles County laid out the scope of the charges in an 11-count indictment that accuses Weinstein of sexually assaulting five women in separate incidents from 2004 to 2013. The trial will cover four counts of rape and seven counts of sexual assault, and the women will be identified during the proceedings as Jane Does 1 through 5.  At least one of the women who plans to testify has come forward publicly: former actor Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Representatives for Siebel Newsom told NBC News that she will take the stand as Jane Doe .

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In court Monday, he entered in a wheelchair through a side door, and climbed from it carefully into a seat next to one of his lawyers at the defense table. He was wearing a blue suit, which he is allowed to change into from his jail attire during the trial.  The outcome of the Los Angeles trial may prove pivotal in the broader case against Weinstein, after the New York State Court of Appeals agreed in August to allow him to appeal his conviction of third-degree rape and one count of first-degree criminal sexual act, clearing the way for oral arguments before the full court next year.  If his conviction in New York is upheld, Weinstein would continue to serve the rest of his 23-year sentence. If it is overturned, his fate behind bars would depend on whether he is convicted in Los Angeles.  Weinstein has maintained he is innocent of the various accusations, and he has said in a previous statement through a spokesman that he is “so grateful to my attorneys for working hard and smart on this,” adding, “Their hard work will help me prove my innocence in the end.”  Weinstein is being represented by a different legal team in Los Angeles than in New York. One of his attorneys, Mark Werksman, has not said whether Weinstein will testify or named any of the defense witnesses he may call.  At a pretrial hearing, Werksman indicated Weinstein is already disadvantaged by an onslaught of criticism and bad press.  “This case is unique,” Werksman said, according to The Associated Press. “Mr. Weinstein’s notoriety and his place in our culture at the center of the firestorm which is the #MeToo movement is real, and we’re trying to do everything we can to avoid having a trial when there will be a swirl of adverse publicity toward him.”  The initial conviction in New York stemmed from allegations made by two women: former aspiring actress Jessica Mann and former “Project Runway” model Mimi Haley.  In all, more than 100 women have accused Weinstein, the Oscar-winning producer behind “Pulp Fiction” and “The King’s Speech,” of sexual misconduct going back decades, although the charges in New York were based primarily on allegations from Mann and Haley, who each took the stand at his trial.  In the Los Angeles case, Weinstein has been charged with raping a woman at a hotel sometime from September 2004 and September 2005, raping another woman on two separate occasions in November 2009 and November 2010 at a Beverly Hills hotel, sexually assaulting another woman at a Beverly Hills hotel in May 2010 and sexually assaulting two women in 2013 in separate incidents.  It was during Oscars week in 2013 — when Jennifer Lawrence would win an Academy Award for the Weinstein Co.’s “Silver Linings Playbook” and Quentin Tarantino would win for writing the company’s “Django Unchained” — that four of the 11 incidents are alleged to have taken place, according to dates set forth in the indictment.  NBC News and MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos said prosecutors may be challenged to meet their burden of proof by the fact that some of the allegations stretch back nearly two decades.  But Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lisa Lench ruled at a pretrial hearing that four other women can also testify as witnesses for the prosecution about “prior bad acts” Weinstein is alleged to have committed. The defense, however, could use such legal maneuvering on appeal, Cevallos added.  “Proceed with caution, prosecution,” he said. “Use prior bad acts evidence at your own risk.”  Siebel Newsom accused Weinstein of "aggressive advances" in a HuffPost essay in 2017. Other details about Siebel Newsom's interactions with Weinstein have not been publicly known, although the indictment says Weinstein was charged with rape and another count of sexual assault against Jane Doe 4 in an incident that occurred between September 2004 and 2005.  Siebel Newsom shares four children with her husband, whom she married in 2008, and has gone on to direct documentaries on gender in society.  "Like many other women, my client was sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein at a purported business meeting that turned out to be a trap," attorney Beth Fegan said in a statement. "She intends to testify at his trial in order to seek some measure of justice for survivors, and as part of her life's work to improve the lives of women. Please respect her choice to not further discuss this matter outside of the courtroom."  Investigative journalists at The New York Times and The New Yorker first reported a flood of allegations against Weinstein five years ago, fueling the global movement to expose sexual misconduct by powerful men in entertainment, the news media, finance and other high-profile industries.  Another high-profile Hollywood-linked trial resumes this week in New York, where “Star Trek: Discovery” star Anthony Rapp is suing Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey. In the civil trial, Rapp accused Spacey of sexually abusing him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26. In court papers before trial, Spacey has denied that the incident occurred.  

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