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Convicted in sexual assault cases, Harvey Weinstein tests positive for COVID-19 in prison

As of Monday, the virus has killed 417 people in the US out of more than 35,224 cases

SNS | New Delhi |

The infamous Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, US media reported Sunday. 68-year-old Weinstein is in prison in northern New York state after being sentenced to 23 years in jail for rape and sexual assault.

The fallen film producer’s diagnosis was first reported Sunday evening by local paper the Niagara Gazette. Harvey Weinstein’s spokespeople have declined to comment to US media on the subject.

Harvey Weinstein was transferred Wednesday to a prison near Buffalo, 350 miles (560 kilometers) northwest of New York City. Prior to his transfer, he stayed at Rikers Island prison and a Manhattan hospital, where he was treated for chest pains.

Later news agency Reuters reported, the head of the New York state corrections officers union confirmed late on Sunday that the former movie producer, who is serving a prison sentence for sexual assault and rape, has tested positive for the Covid-19.

Crowded US prisons have the potential to become hotbeds for coronavirus infections. Last week, guards at Rikers and New York’s Sing Sing prison tested positive for the virus, local media reported.

As of Sunday, the virus has killed 417 people in the US out of more than 35,224 cases, according to a tracker managed by Johns Hopkins University. Harvey Weinstein was convicted in February of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the third degree, while being cleared of predatory sexual assault charges.

He was convicted of raping ex-actress Jessica Mann in 2013 and of forcibly performing oral sex on former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006. Nearly 90 women, including Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, have leveled sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the Oscar-winning producer of “Shakespeare in Love” and numerous other critical and box office hits.