NEW YORK CITY (CBSLA/AP) — Harvey Weinstein Tuesday pleaded not guilty to rape and criminal sex act charges in a Manhattan courtroom.
Weinstein appeared before a judge for his arraignment Tuesday morning after a grand jury indicted the former movie mogul last week on charges involving two women. He pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and one count of first-degree criminal sexual act. He quietly answered a series of “yes” and “no” questions from the judge asking if he understood his rights.READ MORE: Border Patrol: SUVs Loaded With Migrants Came Through Hole In Border Fence, Believed To Part Of Smuggling Operation
The first assault allegedly happened in 2004 at the old Weinstein company offices on Greenwich Street. Actress Lucia Evans says Weinstein forced her perform a sex act.
The second incident allegedly occurred in 2013 at the Double Tree Hotel in Midtown. Prosecutors say Weinstein held an unnamed woman in a room against her will and raped her.
Prosecutors outlined the charges after Weinstein’s arrest last month.
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“This defendant used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually,” said Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi.
More than 75 women have come forward publicly to accuse him of misconduct following media reports beginning in October 2017 about his treatment of women with whom he worked. A number of actresses, including Uma Thurman, “Sopranos” star Annabella Sciorra and Rose McGowan, have accused Weinstein of rape.
In February, Los Angeles police submitted three separate potential sexual assault cases against Weinstein to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office. The cases remain under review. Weinstein is also being investigated by London police.READ MORE: Manhattan Beach Police Officer Charged With Sending Sexually Explicit Messages To Teenage Girl
The 66-year-old Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex. His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has challenged the credibility of his alleged victims and says his client is confident he is going to clear his name.
“Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that any sexual activity that he engaged in was consensual,” he said.
Brafman called the rape allegation “absurd,” saying that the accuser and Weinstein had a decadelong, consensual sexual relationship that continued after the alleged 2013 attack.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. has said it was predictable that Weinstein’s camp would attack the integrity of the women and of the legal system.
Weinstein is out on $1 million bail. He was also ordered to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet and surrender his passport and is only allowed to travel within New York and Connecticut.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors expelled Weinstein back in October when the allegations surfaced. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, or BAFTA, also terminated his membership, as did the Producers Guild of America.
Weinstein, a 20-year member of the Academy, won an Oscar in 1999 as a producer of best-picture winner “Shakespeare in Love.” His companies have also been distributors of Oscar winners “The Artist,” “Chicago,” “The King’s Speech” and “The English Patient.”MORE NEWS: Dolly Parton Gets 'A Dose Of Her Own Medicine'; Receives COVID-19 Vaccine
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