Friday 20 September 2019

Harvey Weinstein to plead not guilty as he appears in court on rape charge

He was charged with rape, a criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for alleged incidents involving two separate women.

Harvey Weinstein is escorted into court in New York (Mark Lennihan/AP)
Harvey Weinstein is escorted into court in New York (Mark Lennihan/AP)

By Joe Nerssessian, Press Association

Harvey Weinstein has appeared in court in New York charged with rape.

The disgraced film producer, in his first public appearance since October, spoke only to confirm he understood as he was charged with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act for alleged incidents involving two separate women.

Weinstein – who has faced an avalanche of accusations including from some of Hollywood’s biggest stars – has repeatedly denied any allegations of non-consensual sex.

He posted a one million dollar (£751,060) cash bail and agreed to wear an electronic monitor which tracks his movements 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Weinstein also surrendered his passport and agreed to stay within the states of New York and Connecticut.

He intends to plead not guilty to the charges, his lawyer Benjamin Brafman said outside court.

It is the first time he has faced criminal charges since the allegations first emerged and sparked the MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

In the eight months since, scores of women have made sexual harassment and assault allegations against the movie mogul.

Sexual Miscconduct Weinstein

Weinstein had arrived at New York Police Department’s 1st Precinct on Friday morning wearing a black suit, white shirt and blue jumper before being charged.

He was clutching two books, Something Wonderful: Rodgers And Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution, by Todd S Purdum, and Richard Schickel’s biography of producer, director and writer Elia Kazan.

Less than 90 minutes later, the 66-year-old left in handcuffs and smiling before being taken to a Manhattan court where he was arraigned on the charges.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr praised the “brave survivors who have come forward” as he urged people with relevant information to come forward.

A statement from the NYPD – which has worked with the DA office on the case – also thanked “these brave survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice”.

PA Media

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