Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein appeared in court today for the first day of his criminal trial.
Weinstein is charged with two counts of rape stemming from incidents that occurred in 2006 and 2013.
Weinstein is accused of raping one woman in a Manhattan hotel room and performing a forcible sex act on another woman.
Dozens of other women have accused the former Miramax chief of sexual misconduct, but in most of those cases, Weinstein is protected by the statute of limitations.
Jury selection got underway today, and Weinstein’s bail was set at $5 million.
TMZ reports that he pre-arranged to post bail with the help of a bondsman who specializes in high-profile cases.
If convicted on those charges, Weinstein faces up to 28 years in prison.
And the odds against him just got even longer thanks to a new set of charges announced this afternoon by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
According to today’s announcement, Weinstein will be charged with four felony counts of sexual assault — forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraints.
The charges stem from two incidents that occurred back-to-back in 2013.
In one case, the woman claims Weinstein gave her a ride home from a film festival and then shoved his way into her home and raped her.
The second set of allegations stems from an incident that took place less than 24 hours later at a hotel in Beverly Hills.
While neither woman was publicly identified by prosecutors, one of them is reported to be an Italian actress who was briefly affiliated with Weinstein in a professional capacity.
"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 in a statement issued this afternoon.
The Los Angeles DA’s announcement does seem to have been timed to coincide with the start of Weinstein’s New York trial.
Convictions in both cases would almost certainly mean that the 67-year-old Weinstein would never be released from prison.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.