Harvey Weinstein abused his power by forcing women into hotel rooms and forcing himself on them, prosecutors said at his trial in Los Angeles.

The disgraced film producer faces 11 counts of rape and coercion of oral sex, stemming from allegations by women who said they were abused between 2004 and 2015.

Weinstein’s accusers ignited the #MeToo movement more than five years ago, and he received two years of a 23-year prison sentence after being convicted of rape and sexual assault by a New York court in 2020.

The trial in Los Angeles was seen by many as symbolic, but it took on much more significance in light of Weinstein’s appeal of his convictions in New York.

If he wins that appeal, his future freedom will likely be decided by a jury in Los Angeles.

They heard the prosecution’s opening statement, delivered by Paul Thompson, detailing the disturbing allegations against the 70-year-old man.

He began with a series of quotes from the alleged victims.

Some described victims’ fear of Weinstein’s size.

“Part of me was wondering if I should just run, but he’s a big guy. He’s big. He’s wide. He’s overweight. He’s domineering.”

Another series of quotes were presented in which victims pleaded with Weinstein to stop.

“Please stop, I don’t want this. What are you doing?’, said one of the quotes.

“I tried to convince him it wasn’t going to happen … I said please, I have kids,” said another.

“I told him to stop. I told him to get out of the bathroom. But he didn’t do that. He just kept walking towards me,” read a third.

Mr Thompson says the accusers “feared he could ruin their careers if they reported what he had done”.

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Weinstein photographed with walking frame at New York court in 2020

Three of the alleged victims, who remain anonymous, are Jane Doe 1, a model and actress who was living in Italy at the time; Jane Doe 2, a 23-year-old model and aspiring screenwriter; and Jane Doe 3, a licensed massage therapist.

Another alleged victim, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, declined to remain anonymous.

She is now a documentary filmmaker and the wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom.

But 17 years ago, when she met Weinstein, she was a “powerless actor trying to break into Hollywood,” the indictment alleges.

Mrs. Newsom testified that she met Weinstein at the Toronto International Film Festival and later invited him to a party attended by many others at her home in West Hollywood.

Afterwards, Weinstein invited Mrs Newsom to “discuss her career” at the Peninsula Hotel, the court heard.

She sat down on the couch and waited for Weinstein, who entered the room in business attire with five or six other people.

“But to her surprise, the assistants quickly left,” said Mr Thompson, prosecuting.

“Harvey Weinstein went to the bathroom, then he calls her. She approaches him and finds him in his robe.

“She was shocked and her mind was in a crazy state,” Mr. Thompson said, claiming Weinstein forced Ms. Newsom to lie on the bed “crying and shaking.”

“She could not utter a word for fear,

“Weinstein told her to ‘relax, it will make her feel better.’

Prosecutors allege that Weinstein then forced her to perform oral sex and then raped her.

A total of eight women will testify that Weinstein sexually assaulted them.

The trial is expected to last another six weeks.