Weinstein's N.Y. conviction is a 'significant win' for coming L.A. case, experts say

"I think that this was a huge win for New York, but it was also a significant win for Los Angeles," one expert said.

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By Daniella Silva

The conviction of Harvey Weinstein in his New York rape trial Monday was also a "significant win" for the case against the disgraced Hollywood mogul across the country in California, legal experts said.

"I think that this was a huge win for New York, but it was also a significant win for Los Angeles," said Laurie Levensen, a former federal prosecutor and a criminal law professor at Loyola Law School. "It's a good sign for the prosecution in Los Angeles that if they present a solid case and their witnesses are believable, that they're likely to get a conviction."

Weinstein, 67, whose alleged pattern of sexual abuse fueled the #MeToo movement, was convicted Monday of third-degree rape of Jessica Mann, a former aspiring actress, as well as a count of criminal sexual act in the first degree against Mimi Haley, a former "Project Runway" production assistant.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex and pleaded not guilty in the New York case. His lawyers have said they will appeal the conviction.

The jury found him not guilty on two counts of predatory sexual assault, which each carried a sentence of up to life in prison. He was also acquitted on a count of first-degree rape against Mann. He now faces a sentence of five to 25 years on the top count.

"They didn't win everything, but they won enough, and that means Los Angeles prosecutors are starting from a much better place than they would have," Levensen said.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced in January it was charging him with sexually assaulting two women on two consecutive days in 2013.

One woman, an unidentified actress and model, has accused Weinstein of raping her in a hotel in Beverly Hills. The second woman, the model Lauren Young, said Weinstein trapped her in a hotel bathroom and groped her while he masturbated. Young testified in the New York case as one of the women prosecutors said could establish a pattern of behavior.

In the Los Angeles case, Weinstein was charged with forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of restraint and sexual battery by restraint and faces up to 28 years in prison.

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Prosecutor Paul Thompson said after the New York conviction that "we are definitely proceeding" with the California case.

Levensen said the prosecution in the Los Angeles case could seek to introduce testimony from the winning convictions in the New York case and others to establish a pattern of behavior.

"Having the other women is the key to success in a case like this," she said. "When a woman has to face her attacker one-on-one, historically that has been a difficult situation for women, but when the jury can see the overall pattern of behavior, that very much helps the prosecutors."

Weinstein faces sentencing March 11, and NBC News legal analyst Danny Cevallos said the next questions are with his extradition to California and the next steps in the case.

"They can fight but the extradition and transport of Harvey to California must happen practically speaking, how it will happen is a real open question," he said.

Cevallos said potentially complicating factors were Weinstein's age, health and his high profile.

Weinstein, who has not yet entered a plea in Los Angeles case, could choose to go through another full trial in California or attempt to reach some kind of plea, he said.

"Somebody already convicted sitting in the position he is has very practical considerations, it's expensive but considering he's already been convicted, a defendant may take on one of two minds," he said.

In the New York case, Weinstein's age and the fact that this was his first conviction could also mean he will not be sentenced toward the highest end of the spectrum he faces.

But, he said that assuming Weinstein's appeal was not successful, he was now "going into California with a prior record."

Weinstein's conviction in New York would be a "serious aggravating factor" for his sentencing if he were also convicted in California.

"He's looking at more stiff penalties," he said.