A US court has charged former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein with rape, sex abuse and other crimes against two women.
Weinstein was arraigned on Friday in New York Criminal Court seven months after women made allegations of sexual violence and harassment against him.
According to a statement from the New York Police Department, Weinstein “was arrested, processed and charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women.”
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, the prosecutor, said, “This defendant used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually.”
The 66-year-old man, who was released on a $1mn bail bond later on Friday, has to wear a monitoring device.
According to his lawyer Ben Brafman, the disgraced mogul would enter a not guilty plea.
“We intend to move very quickly to dismiss these charges,” Brafman said. “We believe that they are constitutionally flawed. We believe that they are not factually supported by the evidence.”
In February, the attorney general of New York sued Weinstein and the Weinstein Company, alleging years of sexual harassment and misconduct by the Hollywood film producer.
The lawsuit accused Weinstein Company executives, including his brother and co-CEO Bob, of failing to act despite repeatedly being presented with credible evidence of Weinstein’s sexual harassment and misconduct.
In October, 2017, The New York Times first reported on multiple allegations of sexual abuse by Weinstein.
Since then, similar allegations have been leveled against many powerful men in politics, business and entertainment in the US and the UK and the #MeToo movement has emerged to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment.