NEWS
05/06/2018 15:15 BST | Updated 05/06/2018 16:12 BST

Harvey Weinstein Pleads Not Guilty To Rape And Criminal Sexual Acts

Film producer attended an arraignment in New York.

Film producer Harvey Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to rape and criminal sexual act charges at an arraignment in Manhattan, New York.

The charges related to two women, his lawyer Benjamin Brafman previously said. 

Brafman said at the time after Weinstein was first charged: “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 turned himself in at a New York police station on 25 May and was taken to court in handcuffs for his initial arraignment. A judge ordered him released on a $1million cash bail on condition that he surrender his US passport and agree to wear a location-tracking device. He was ordered to remain in New York state or Connecticut.

More than 70 women have accused Weinstein, the co-founder of the Miramax film studio and The Weinstein Co, of sexual misconduct, including rape, with some allegations dating back decades, all of which he has denied.

The accusations, first reported by the New York Times and the New Yorker last year, gave rise to the #MeToo movement, in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of misconduct.

Prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office did not name the two women accusing Weinstein of sexual assault in the criminal complaint filed against him following a months-long investigation with the New York Police Department.

The details of one of the cases closely align with the account of Lucia Evans, a former aspiring actress who told the New Yorker that Weinstein forced her to give him oral sex in 2004.

If convicted on the most serious charges, Weinstein could face between five and 25 years in prison.

Once a fixture of elite Manhattan and Los Angeles society, Weinstein has been ostracised since the accusations became public. 

The Weinstein Co’s board fired him, the company filed for bankruptcy in March, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled him. In years past, the Academy had showered him with Oscars for a string of films that helped define independent cinema in the 1990s, including Shakespeare in Love and Pulp Fiction.

London’s Met Police and Los Angeles prosecutors have said they are reviewing accusations of sexual assault against him.

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