Arc of justice

Harvey Weinstein charged with rape, pleads not guilty in 1st court appearance

Harvey Weinstein was arraigned on rape and sex abuse charges in a New York City courtroom on Friday. He entered a not guilty plea. This defendant used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually,” Manhattan Assistant Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said in court. The Associated Press reports Weinstein raised is eyebrow when he heard the remark.

The judge hearing the arraignment agreed to allow Weinstein to be released on $1 million bail, but stipulated that he must wear an electronic monitoring device at all times and that his travel is limited to New York City and Connecticut, where he has residences. He also surrendered his passport. Weinstein has maintained his innocence since the first accusations became public and his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, issued a statement, according to Entertainment Tonight, saying, “Nothing about today’s proceedings changes Mr. Weinstein’s position. He has entered a plea of not guilty and fully expects to be exonerated.”

Weinstein turned himself into authorities in New York City early on Friday morning to face rape and sex abuse charges. The 66-year-old disgraced movie mogul showed up at an NYPD station in lower Manhattan, where he officially surrendered. He arrived carrying several books under his arm and was greeted by a throng of reporters and news cameras. Weinstein ignored reporters as they shouted his name and questions at him as he made his way into the police station.

Weinstein was charged on Friday with rape and a criminal sex act, in addition to being slapped with lower-level sex abuse and sexual misconduct charges, The Associated Press reported. A grand jury has been examining evidence for months.

According to the reports, the criminal sex act charge stems from an alleged forced oral sex incident that occurred in 2004. Lucia Evans, one of the first women to publicly accuse Weinstein, was an aspiring actress who was still in college at the time and said Weinstein forced her into performing oral sex on him during a meeting at his office. She is one of the women who came forward and told her story to The New Yorker last October.

The rape charge is in connection with a woman who has not come forward publicly to accuse the disgraced movie producer. Weinstein left the NYPD precinct flanked by two detectives and with his hands in cuffs behind him and a defiant smile on his face. He was taken to a Manhattan courtroom for his arraignment.

Two of the books Weinstein was seen carrying on his way into the police station were, Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution by Todd S. Purdum, and, according to The Guardian, Elia Kazan: A Biography by Richard Schickel. Kazan, who died in 2003, is the acclaimed movie director of classic films such as On The Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire. He was also a noted womanizer, a fact that is chronicled in Schickel’s biography, The Guardian reports, who eventually became despised by Hollywood’s liberal elite.

Dozens of women accused Weinstein of some form of sexual misconduct, setting off the #MeToo movement, a dramatic reckoning in Hollywood and the media industry that has spread to all walks of American culture. Weinstein also faces criminal investigations in Los Angeles and London.

Below watch video of Weinstein’s appearance at the arraignment, him leaving New York City’s first police precinct and then arriving there early Friday morning.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.

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