Tuesday, 14 August, 2018

Harvey Weinstein Pleads Not Guilty to Additional Sexual Assault Charges

Film producer Harvey Weinstein is led handcuffed by police into his hearing at Manhattan Criminal Court Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty in third sex assault case
Lora Ball | 10 July, 2018, 06:53

Weinstein was one of the most powerful figures in the film industry until a year ago, when The New Yorker and The New York Times published accounts from several women accusing him of various forms of sexual assault and misconduct. He appeared to have lost weight.

Earlier charges included two counts of rape and one count of criminal sexual act.

The lawyer initially said that Weinstein's estranged wife, fashion designer and entrepreneur Georgina Chapman, also lives at the estate, but after apparently being corrected by Weinstein, Brafman said Chapman does not live with her husband.

Pale and pasty faced, the 66-year-old former Tinseltown titan was escorted by elbow into a NY courtroom in handcuffs, dressed in a dark suit, tie and white shirt.

'He is doing as well as can be expected for someone under these circumstances, ' Brafman said.

Brafman identified her in court as a former film production assistant who went public last October with allegations that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment. "This indictment is the result of the extraordinary courage exhibited by the survivors who have come forward".

The new charges were announced by prosecutors on July 2.

Weinstein, who wore a black suit and tie, has been out on $1 million bail and staying at his longtime family home in CT in recent months.

He surrendered his passport and wears an electronic monitoring device.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance says Weinstein is indicted "on some of the most serious sexual offences" under NY penal law and has urged other potential victims to come forward.

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"Are you really willing to have your client face the jury?"

The 66-year-old has denied all charges of non-consensual sex.

Brafman told reporters he had "corroborative evidence" in the form of witnesses and email traffic to support Weinstein's case. "Mr Weinstein is not a predator; he is not a rapist and I believe that when this case is over we will ultimately see him be exonerated".

"Proof beyond a reasonable doubt should be the only way someone gets convicted", he added.

The accusations against Weinstein sparked the #MeToo movement that has seen hundreds of women publicly accuse powerful men in business, politics and entertainment of sexual harassment and abuse, lifting a shroud that had long shielded such behavior. "It is simply not reasonable or appropriate" to change the bail setup, Brafman said, because Weinstein has complied with all demands from prosecutors to date (a point that Illuzzi conceded).

Weinstein's lawyer said he expects more charges to be laid.

Weinstein now faces a total of six charges connected to incidents involving three women.

The other, former actress Lucia Evans, says she was allegedly forced to perform a sex act at his office in 2004.

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they consent to being identified publicly.

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