31 May 2018Hot off the Press
American film producer Harvey Weinstein has been indicted for sex crimes by a grand jury in New York and will face a full criminal trial, following a flood of accusations that began in October 2017.
Mr Weinstein, 66, is charged with one two counts of rape and one count of committing a criminal sexual act, which allegedly occurred in 2004 and 2013. He faces between five and 25 years imprisonment for each offence.
The charges relate to two unnamed victims, representing only a small number of the 70 women who have accused Mr Weinstein of sex crimes and misconduct.
Mr Weinstein denies all charges. A member of his legal team, Benjamin Brafman, said that Mr Weinstein “intends to enter a plea of not guilty”, and described the charges as “unsupported”.
The allegations against Mr Weinstein have received widespread attention, and launched the #MeToo Movement, as well as spawning broader initiatives to eradicate sexual misconduct in the film industry. The majority of Mr Weinstein’s alleged victims are actors and models, including Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan.
At trial, Mr Weinstein will face weighty testimony from male and female actors who have worked with him.
It is alleged that during the commissioning of female actors by the Weinstein Company, Mr Weinstein imposed on the women sexually, and abused their professional relationships.
Evidence to be presented at trial will include audio recordings showing Mr Weinstein harassing a model who was staying in the same New York hotel last year, the transcripts of which are now public.
Released on US $1 million bail, Mr Weinstein has surrendered his passport and is required to wear a tracking device.
Mr Weinstein declined to testify in front of the grand jury, claiming insufficient preparation time.