In New York City, disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein surrendered himself to police this morning, as a Manhattan prosecutor brings charges that Weinstein sexually assaulted two women. Weinstein was arraigned Friday on rape and other charges in the first criminal prosecution to result from the wave of allegations against him that sparked a national reckoning over sexual misconduct.
In October 2017, The New York Times and The New Yorker reported that dozens of women had come forward accusing Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse.
The allegations of sexual misconduct by more than 80 women against Weinstein spanned decades.
The case was adjourned until July 30. His attorney told reporters outside court that Weinstein meant to plead not guilty to all four charges announced Friday.
Brafman told reporters outside the courthouse that he would move to dismiss the charges against his client.
The New York Police Department issued a statement thanking "these fearless survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice".
Evans told The New Yorker magazine he forced her to perform oral sex during a daytime meeting in his office.
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Weinstein is also reportedly the subject of a federal investigation looking into whether he arranged the travel of women across state lines for the purposes of having sex with them.
Benjamin Brafman said that Weinstein should not be tried for the prevailing Hollywood culture, and insisted that he had not acted criminally. "I would say it's just so big".
The top charges against Weinstein carry the potential for up to 25 years in prison. He can also only travel within NY and CT.
The Reuters news agency said the rape charge relates to a woman who was not identified. "Today Harvey Weinstein will take his first step on his inevitable descent to hell". The charges happening all these years later, but NY did away with the statute of limitations for adult rape cases in 2006.
"Weinstein had until recently seemed untouchable, harnessing his wealth and his influence in the movie industry to intimidate women out of speaking publicly and, only three years ago, withstand an investigation into groping allegations", the NYT report said.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who had conducted a months-long joint investigation with the NYPD, filed felony sex crime charges against Weinstein in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday morning.
Asia Argento has also had her say, as she shared a video of the news breaking along with the caption: 'This is the only movie Harvey Weinstein will be remembered for #perpwalk'.