Culture&Arts

Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to rape, sex charges

Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to rape, sex charges

Harvey Weinstein pled not guilty plea to rape and criminal sex act charges Tuesday morning at his arraignment in Lower Manhattan.

This comes seven months after several media outlets published reports of alleged abuse by the movie mogul.

"Mr Weinstein has denied these crimes".

Even though Weinstein has largely been convicted in the court of public opinion, could he walk free from the courtroom?

He said that as bad as the crime of rape is, it's equally reprehensible to be falsely accused.

Shortly before Weinstein arrived, celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred strode into court, showing the signature determination that famous men accused of sexual misconduct have come to recognise all too well.

The other accuser, former actress Lucia Evans, has gone public with her account of how the former producer forced her to perform a sex act on him at his office in 2004. Ryan Murphy has announced a TV series about the #MeToo movement that resulted in the downfall of Weinstein, tentatively called Consent, and David Mamet has written a play about Weinstein called Bitter Wheat. "And since Mr. Weinstein has denied these allegations, that's where we are", said Ben Brafman, Weinstein's attorney. Defense attorney Benjamin Brafman and Justin Henry, a spokesman for the prosecutor, confirmed that Weinstein had pleaded not guilty.

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Indeed, it is the same Brafman who defended the former International Monetary Fund director against the same Manhattan prosecutor, Cyrus Vance.

The most serious of the charges against Weinstein, first-degree rape, carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison under NY law.

Brafman said at the time after Weinstein was first charged: "We intend to move very quickly to dismiss these charges. He has never engaged in non-consensual sex with anyone", Brafman told reporters.

The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assaults unless they come forward publicly.

"We begin our fight now", Benjamin Brafman, his lawyer, said outside court.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance brought the charges against Weinstein after a lengthy investigation.

He's due back in court in September. The device monitors his location 24 hours a day, and restricts him to only travel in NY state and CT.