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Harvey Weinstein indicted by grand jury on rape and criminal sex act charges

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 31/05/2018 Elahe Izadi
Harvey Weinstein Harvey Weinstein

A grand jury voted to indict Harvey Weinstein on three charges, including rape, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced Wednesday.

The once-powerful movie mogul, who was arrested last week, has been indicted on charges of a criminal sexual act in the first degree and rape in the first and third degrees.

“This indictment brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged,” Vance said in a statement. “Our office will try this case not in the press, but in the courtroom where it belongs. The defendant’s recent assault on the integrity of the survivors and the legal process is predictable.”

Vance added: “We are confident that when the jury hears the evidence, it will reject these attacks out of hand.”

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Related: Harvey Weinstein's potential defense strategy (Fox Business)

The indictment came just hours after Weinstein lawyer Ben Brafman said in a statement that “an indictment was inevitable due to the unfair political pressure” on Vance.

“We asked the District Attorney for more time so that Mr. Weinstein’s attorneys could gather the material needed to properly prepare him for his grand jury testimony but that request was denied,” Brafman said in a new statement, after the indictment.

Weinstein will enter a not guilty plea and “vigorously defend against these unsupported allegations that he strongly denies,” Brafman added.

The charges stem from incidents involving two women. According to a criminal complaint, a New York City detective said in 2004 that Weinstein forced a woman to engage in oral sex with him, and that in 2013, Weinstein kept a woman in a room against her will “and engaged in sexual intercourse” by force even as she “clearly expressed her lack of consent.”

A grand jury voted to indict Harvey Weinstein on three charges, including rape, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced Wednesday. © press association A grand jury voted to indict Harvey Weinstein on three charges, including rape, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced Wednesday. Weinstein was a powerful figure in Hollywood until last year’s investigative stories from the New York Times and the New Yorker that reported several accusations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein. Since then, scores more have claimed Weinstein sexually assaulted and harassed them, using his status to intimidate them and threaten their careers.

The revelations also touched off a broader movement that resulted in a number of men in media facing accusations of sexual misconduct.

Vance said the Weinstein investigation remains ongoing and urged “additional survivors and others with relevant information” to contact his office. The next schedule court date remains July 30.

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