Popular Film Producer Charged With Rape
If you are a fan of Hollywood movies and have seen such great movies as 'One Chance', 'The Night We Never Met', Malena etc, you would know that Harvey Weinstein is a heavyweight in the American film industry.
But the superstar producer is in for a trying time.
He has been accused by about 70 women of sexual misconduct, and on Wednesday, he was indicted on charges of rape and a criminal sexual act.
“This indictment brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement on the charges against the disgraced 66-year-old co-founder of the Miramax film studio and the Weinstein Co.
The grand jury indictment follows his arrest and court appearance last Friday on charges related to two among about 70 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, all of which Weinstein has denied.
Vance’s statement said Weinstein was charged with rape in the first and third degrees and a criminal sexual act in the first degree.
Ben Brafman, the head of Weinstein’s legal team, said his client would plead not guilty and defend himself against the charges.
If convicted on the most serious charges, Weinstein could face between five and 25 years in prison.
Earlier on Wednesday, Weinstein declined to testify before the grand jury after a judge denied a request by his lawyers to postpone the appearance. Brafman had argued Weinstein was denied access to information about the case and lacked preparation time.
“Mr. Weinstein intends to enter a plea of not guilty and vigorously defend against these unsupported allegations that he strongly denies,” Brafman said in a statement after the indictment.
“We will soon formally move to dismiss the indictment and if this case actually proceeds to trial, we expect Mr. Weinstein to be acquitted,” Brafman added in the statement.
The grand jury indictment spares the prosecution the step of having to go before a judge to demonstrate there is enough evidence to bring Weinstein to trial.
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