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Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to rape and sex crime charges as his lawyer vows to ‘begin our fight’

Weinstein pleaded not guilty, while his lawyer questioned the credibility of the two women who have accused him of three counts of sexual crimes in this particular case

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 June, 2018, 11:13pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 June, 2018, 11:21pm

Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to rape and criminal sex act charges in a New York court on Tuesday, following last week’s a grand jury indictment on charges involving two women.

One alleged victim, who has not been identified publicly, told investigators that Weinstein cornered her in a hotel room and raped her.

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The other accuser, former actress Lucia Evans, has gone public with her account of Weinstein forcing her to perform oral sex at his office in 2004. Dozens more women have accused him of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault.

The 66-year-old Weinstein has denied all allegations of nonconsensual 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.

On Tuesday, Brafman called the rape allegation “absurd,” saying that the accuser and Weinstein had a decade-long, consensual sexual relationship that continued after the alleged 2013 attack.

He called the case against Weinstein “imminently defensible” based on what they have learned about the evidence, and said that the defence is ready to “begin our fight”. He added that Weinstein is “holding up reasonably well.”

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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jnr said it was predictable that Weinstein’s camp would attack the integrity of the women and of the legal system.

Vance, a Democrat, came under public pressure from women’s groups to prosecute Weinstein after declining to do so in 2015, when an Italian model went to police to say Weinstein had groped her during a meeting.

Police set up a sting in which the woman recorded herself confronting Weinstein and him apologising for his conduct. But Vance decided there was not enough evidence to bring charges.

His bail was previously set at $1 million, allowing him to remain free while he awaits trial. He is scheduled to return to court September 20.