UPDATED 10/26, 12:40 a.m. ET: After posting $5 million bail last month, Eric Weinberg was taken into custody during his arraignment in L.A. on Tuesday after pleading not guilty to all 18 sexual assault charges against him. He’s facing a prison sentence of more than 100 years if convicted.
“Initially standing before the judge, Weinberg crumpled onto the wooden bench behind him as Wilson declared that ‘the defendant has engaged in a pattern of violence towards women for over six years,’” the Hollywood Reporter writes. The producer’s defense attorney pushed for softer measures including “no social media use, no talking to any female people you don’t know, no going to certain locations,” or home arrest.
Judge Virginia Wilson, per THR, “dismissed the suggestions and pointed out that the ‘offenses occurred in the safety and privacy of his home.’”
“Justice was served today,” an attorney representing the victims, Micha Star Liberty, told the magazine. “It’s very satisfying that the judge found enough factual allegations to declare Mr. Weinberg a serial rapist.”
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Eric Weinberg, a former executive producer for the ABC sitcom Scrubs, is facing more legal troubles.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Weinberg was arrested Tuesday in L.A. on 18 criminal counts including rape, oral copulation, sexual battery, false imprisonment, assault by means to cause great bodily harm, and forcible penetration by a foreign object. The charges were reportedly filed on Sept. 28, more than two months after his initial arrest for alleged sexual assaults dating back to 2012.
Weinberg was released Tuesday night after posting $5 million bail. The 61-year-old was a writer for years on the often-controversial Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect, as well as executive producing and screenwriting on Scrubs, Californication, Anger Management, and Men at Work. The latter two starred Charlie Sheen and Danny Masterson, both of whom have been accused of problematic and/or illegal behaviors.
The producer’s prior charges were dismissed due to a lack of sufficient evidence. The L.A. District Attorney’s office relaunched the investigation after it was presented with a new assault allegation.
“It wasn’t until detectives received a recent late-reported rape that they opened another investigation into Weinberg,” the LAPD officials told the Times. “It was…this new reported crime that led detectives to the additional victims being identified.”
According to the indictment, Weinberg is accused of sexually assaulting two women on separate occasions in 2014. He allegedly approached the victims at public locations and lured them to his home after claiming to be a photographer. The women said the producer attacked them shortly after they arrived at the residence. He is also accused of sexually assaulting different women in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
“The defendant relied on his Hollywood credentials to lure young women for photo shoots where he allegedly sexually assaulted them,” L.A. District Attorney George Gascón said during a Wednesday press conference. “Power and influence can corrupt some to hurt others that often leads to a lifetime of trauma for those who are victimized.”
Police told the LAT they’ve identified at least eight women whom Weinberg reportedly assaulted.
The abuse accusations were highlighted in October 2020, during Weinberg’s divorce/child custody hearing. The proceedings included testimony from three of his alleged victims.
“Eric raped and physically assaulted me in 2014 after convincing me to come to his home for a photo shoot,” one of the women said in a declaration filed in a family court. She went on to say Weinberg initially presented himself in a professional manner, but that quickly changed once she got to his home.
According to the 2020 declaration, the woman agreed to strip down to her bra and underwear, and was told she needed to apply lotion “because it was good for the lighting.”
“While Eric was putting lotion on my back‚ he began to take off my underwear,” she claimed. “I never told Eric he could undress me, and I did not consent to him putting his tongue on me. I did not know what was happening and was terrified. I did not know how I was going to get away from him. I completely froze up.”
She said Weinberg ultimately forced her to perform oral sex on him and choked her “so hard that I thought I was going to pass out.” His attorney called the allegations a “blatant smear campaign” to “limit his role as a parent.”
Eric Weinberg’s arraignment is scheduled for the end of October.