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Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to rape in New York court

Tuesday - 05/06/2018 17:29
HARVEY Weinstein has appeared in a New York court where he pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and rape charges levelled at him by two women.
Harvey Weinstein arrives to court in New York. Picture: APSource:AP
Harvey Weinstein arrives to court in New York. Picture: APSource:AP

HARVEY Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to rape in New York.

The hearing in Manhattan comes after a grand jury indicted the former movie mogul last week 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.

Harvey Weinstein and lawyer Benjamin Brafman arrive at State Supreme Court in New York. Picture: Getty
Harvey Weinstein and lawyer Benjamin Brafman arrive at State Supreme Court in New York. Picture: GettySource:AFP

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.

Former actress Lucia Evans. Picture: Twitter
Former actress Lucia Evans. Picture: TwitterSource:Supplied

 

 
Harvey Weinstein (L) and then wife Georgina Chapman. Picture: Getty
Harvey Weinstein (L) and then wife Georgina Chapman. Picture: GettySource:Getty Images

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.

Lawyer Ben Brafman has defended high profile clients, including former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on an attempted rape charge. Picture: AP
Lawyer Ben Brafman has defended high profile clients, including former International Monetary Fund director Dominique Strauss-Kahn on an attempted rape charge. Picture: APSource:AP

Mr 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.

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

Harvey Weinstein, left, has been accused of sex crimes by a number of actresses. Picture: AFP
Harvey Weinstein, left, has been accused of sex crimes by a number of actresses. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

Mr 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 Mr Vance decided there was not enough evidence to bring charges.

Weinstein is out on $US1 million bail.

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