Harvey Weinstein, former co-chairman of the Weinstein Co., center, arrives at the New York Police Department (NYPD) 1st Precinct in New York. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Harvey Weinstein Indicted On Multiple Rape And Sex Crime Charges

Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been indicted on charges of rape in the first and third degrees and first-degree criminal sexual act, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said.

Weinstein was arraigned last week on the same charges, seven months after women began to come forward with stories alleging sexual harassment, molestation and rape by the producer, reported Deadline.

“A Grand Jury has voted to indict Harvey Weinstein on charges of rape in the first and third degrees, and criminal sexual act in the first degree,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said. If found guilty, the producer could find himself behind the bars for up to 25 years.

“This indictment brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged. 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. We are confident that when the jury hears the evidence, it will reject these attacks out of hand,” Vance said.

Also Read: How to Stop the Next Harvey Weinstein

Weinstein’s attorney Benjamin Brafman said the announcement of the indictment ‘does not come as a surprise.’ “We remind everyone that an indictment is merely a formal accusation,” Brafman said.

Weinstein, who intends to plead not guilty, remains free after posting a $1-million cash bail. His next court date is July 30.

More than 100 women, including prominent Hollywood celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd, Uma Thurman and Asia Argento, have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, including rape with some allegations dating back to decades.

Weinstein’s career saw a sudden downfall last October following an expose by The New York Times and New Yorker magazine.

The criminal sex act charge against Weinstein stems from an encounter with Lucia Evans, who told the New Yorker and then investigators from the Manhattan district attorney’s office that Hollywood producer forced her to perform oral sex on him during what she thought would be a casting meeting. The victim in the rape case has not been publicly identified.

Also Read: Cannes Festival Opens Under Specter of #MeToo, Sans Netflix

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