Harvey Weinstein Tests Positive for Coronavirus in New York State Prison: Reports
Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), according to multiple reports.
On Sunday, law enforcement officials confirmed the news to Deadline and Page Six, telling the outlets that the disgraced producer and convicted rapist contracted the virus. Niagara Gazette was first to report the news.
Weinstein’s rep, Juda Engelmayer, tells PEOPLE: “Our team that has HIPAA consent has not heard anything like that yet. I can’t tell you what I don’t know.”
News of his diagnosis comes days after he was transferred to the Wende Correctional Facility from New York City’s Rikers Island.
Weinstein is reportedly being kept in isolation, along with one other inmate who also tested positive for the virus at Wende.
Officials told Niagara Gazette they believed Weinstein, who celebrated his 68th birthday last week, was already positive for COVID-19 when he entered the facility. Prior to his transfer, Weinstein had been alternating between Rikers Island and a New York City hospital, where he was reportedly being treated for high blood pressure and chest pains.
Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA), told the outlet that he could not comment on Weinstein’s condition due to privacy rules, but acknowledged that penitentiaries needed to be cautious amid the pandemic.
“There is no better breeding ground for this virus than a closed environment such as a correctional facility,” Powers told Niagara Gazette.
On March 11, Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison in a New York City courtroom after his February conviction on charges of first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape. Under the law, the judge could have imposed a sentence of up to 29 years, which prosecutors asked for.
In February, jurors acquitted Weinstein of three other charges including the most severe charge, predatory sexual assault, which would have carried a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, The Washington Post reported.
Weinstein has denied the allegations throughout the trial, claiming that his sexual encounters with the two accusers in the New York case were consensual.
The producer now faces additional charges in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office unsealed new charges on Jan. 6, accusing Weinstein of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013.
Weinstein has not yet entered a plea to those allegations, which carry a separate penalty of 28 years in state prison if he is later convicted on those California charges.
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