Tuesday 19 June 2018

Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to rape and sexual assault charges

Harvey Weinstein listens during a court appearance in New York (Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP, Pool)
Harvey Weinstein listens during a court appearance in New York (Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP, Pool)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Harvey Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to rape and criminal sexual act charges at a court hearing in New York.

The 66-year-old film producer appeared at a Manhattan court for the hearing on Tuesday, his first public appearance since he was first charged less than two weeks ago.

He wore a black suit and tie, and was accompanied by his lawyer Benjamin Brafman as he arrived at the court to a crowd of reporters and photographers.

Mr Brafman previously said that the filmmaker intended to enter a plea of not guilty against the charges, which relate to two separate women.

After Weinstein was charged on May 25, Mr Brafman said in a statement outside the Manhattan court: "We intend to move very quickly to dismiss these charges.

"We believe that they are constitutionally flawed. We believe that they are not factually supported by the evidence and we believe that by the end of the process, Mr Weinstein will be exonerated."

Weinstein's not guilty plea comes after he was indicted by a grand jury on the charges - rape in the first and third degrees, and a criminal sexual act in the first degree - last Wednesday.

He was due to face the grand jury, the panel convened by the Manhattan District Attorney, at the time, but he did not attend on the advice of his lawyers.

They said the former movie mogul did not have enough time to prepare to testify, and that he only learned on the day he was charged of the identities of the two women relating to the charges.

The day he was charged was Weinstein's first public appearance since facing numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.

He is currently out on a one million dollar (£751,060) bail, and must wear an electronic tracking device at all times.

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

Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex.

Press Association

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