A Hollywood producer charged with sex crimes was taken into custody on Tuesday after a judge called him a potential danger to society.
Eric Weinberg, best known for his work as co-executive producer of TV show ‘Scrubs’, was led away in handcuffs by a deputy after pleading not guilty to 18 counts of rape, forced oral copulation, assault sexual intercourse, false imprisonment, assault to cause grievous bodily harm and sexual penetration by a foreign object.
Weinberg was arrested again this month after prosecutors expanded the charges against him to include the claims of five additional women. He had been released in lieu of $5 million bail following an arrest in July.
More than half a dozen women have alleged over the past seven years that Weinberg, 62, lured them to his home, often under the guise of a photo shoot, before restraining and sexually assaulting them, according to police interviews and records obtained by The Times.
Calling him a danger to society and women in particular, Deputy Dist. Atti. Marlene Martinez told a judge that Weinberg used his status as a Hollywood producer and writer to “manipulate these women.” Asking that he be remanded in custody, she said he was a flight risk and needed to be locked up.
Martinez said that in addition to the five victims of Jane Doe included in the charges against Weinberg, at least two other women have made allegations that are being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, and the department received 70 tips.
Philip Cohen, Weinberg’s lawyer, said his client had proven he was not at risk of fleeing because he had been under investigation for some time and remained in the jurisdiction. Cohen argued that electronic monitoring and house arrest were viable alternatives.
Weinberg was first arrested on July 14 in connection with allegations of sexual assault, including rape, between 2012 and 2019. LAPD Capt. Kelly Muniz said the department identified at least eight women that Weinberg could have been victimized.
Following the arrest, he was released in lieu of $3.5 million bond before being arrested a second time on October 4 on more serious charges, with bail increased to $5 million. .
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Victoria Wilson agreed with the prosecutor on Tuesday, calling Weinberg a potential serial rapist. She rejected the suggestion to hold him at his home, noting that is where some of the alleged crimes took place.
Weinberg’s attorneys have denied any wrongdoing on their client’s part, calling the women’s statements a “blatant smear campaign” with “unconscionable and unsubstantiated allegations” designed to paint him in “the most gruesome light”.
Micha Star Liberty, a Bay Area civil rights attorney who represents some of the accusers, said in a statement that she was “grateful that the district attorney acted responsibly.”
“The massive number of victims and the horrific impact inflicted on these women will not go unresolved,” she said. “We will not rest until justice is served.”
According to police and court records, Weinberg lured women from cafes, supermarkets and a Los Feliz pie shop to his Edgemont Street home. Detectives said Weinberg would approach women in their 20s and 30s and arrange photo shoots with them. Sometimes he talked about his career in Hollywood.
After one encounter, a woman began using a Facebook group to warn others about Weinberg’s alleged behavior, according to a statement filed in family court. Los Angeles police had investigated Weinberg on suspicion of sexual assault twice before his arrest in July, records show.
LAPD investigators previously presented cases to prosecutors involving allegations that Weinberg raped women in April and August 2014, but the district attorney’s office declined to prosecute, citing insufficient evidence, according to court records and the police.
Weinberg worked as a producer or writer on 92 episodes of “Scrubs” from 2001 to 2007. He also served as a producer on “Veronica’s Closet,” “Californication” and “Anger Management,” as well as “Men at Work,” which featured star Danny Masterson, who has also been accused of sexually abusing women. Masterson is on trial for rape in the same downtown courthouse and is also represented by Cohen.
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