Hollywood's disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein has been convicted on charges of rape and criminal sexual act, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said, the first case to emerge from a slew of sexual misconduct allegations against him. The grand jury indictment follows his arrest.
Harvey has been charged of rape by more than 70 women
“This indictment brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged,” Vance said in a statement on the charges against the disgraced 66-year-old co-founder of the Miramax film studio and the Weinstein Co.
Vance’s statement said Weinstein was charged with rape in the first and third degrees and a criminal sexual act in the first degree. Ben Brafman, the head of Weinstein’s legal team, said his client would plead not guilty and defend himself against the charges. If convicted on the most serious charges, Weinstein could face between five and 25 years in prison.
“Mr. Weinstein intends to enter a plea of not guilty and vigorously defend against these unsupported allegations that he strongly denies,” Brafman said in a statement after the indictment. "We will soon formally move to dismiss the indictment and if this case actually proceeds to trial, we expect Mr. Weinstein to be acquitted.”
Actors who have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct include Uma Thurman, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Salma Hayek.