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Harvey Weinstein Pleads Not Guilty to Rape
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Harvey Weinstein

Summary: Harvey Weinstein pled not guilty to rape in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday. 

On Tuesday, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein appeared in a Manhattan courtroom and pled not guilty to rape and other sex crime charges. According to Buzzfeed News, he is out on bail and he intends to appear at all court dates to “vigorously fight” the charges.

  
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Weinstein, 66, was charged with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sex act. The charges stemmed from two separate incidents that allegedly occurred in 2004 and 2013.

For decades, Weinstein was a powerful force in Hollywood. He produced numerous Oscar-winning films such as Shakespeare in Love and popular TV shows such as Project Runway. In October of last year, the New York Times published a damning expose that said he had sexually harassed actress Ashley Judd as well as others. After that piece ran, dozens of women came forward to say he had propositioned them for sexual favors, retaliated if they said no, and even raped them.

The NYPD launched an investigation after the story broke, and police departments in Los Angeles and London announced the same. The NYPD is the first jurisdiction to actually press charges.

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The complaint said that during the summer of 2004, Weinstein forced a woman to “engage in oral sexual conduct, to wit, defendant grabbed the back of informant’s head forcing her head downward and forcing her mouth onto his penis” at his West Village home.

On March 8, 2013, Weinstein allegedly forced a woman to stay in a hotel room in Midtown Manhattan and engage “in sexual intercourse with informant by forcible compulsion, to wit, defendant penetrated informant’s vagina with his penis and, at the time of the incident informant had clearly expressed her lack of consent to the act.”



Although the victims were not named, actress Lucia Evans told the New Yorker that Weinstein had assaulted her in 2004.

Weinstein is represented by attorney Ben Brafman. Brafman said that the two encounters were consensual.

“Mr. Weinstein has denied these crimes,” Brafman told NPR. “He has maintained that he has never engaged in non-consensual sex with anyone.”

Weinstein faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Harvey Weinstein’s fall from grace ignited the #MeToo movement, a social media campaign where victims shared their stories about sexual abuse. Numerous high-powered men in all industries such as Senator Al Franken and TV anchor Charlie Rose resigned or were fired after accusers shared their accounts of misconduct.

Weinstein was originally prosecuted by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman who was also fired because of the #MeToo movement. Multiple women said that over the years Schneiderman had physically abused them while they were in romantic relationships with him.

What do you think of Harvey Weinstein? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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