News World Harvey Weinstein indicted on rape charges

Harvey Weinstein indicted on rape charges

Harvey Weinstein indicted
A grand jury has indicted movie producer Harvey Weinstein for rape, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr says. Photo: AAP
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Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has been indicted on two counts of rape and one of criminal sexual acts in a legal process that could see him sentenced to as many as 25 years in jail.

Mr Weinstein was indicted by a New York grand jury on Thursday (AEST), furthering the first criminal case to arise from a slew of sexual misconduct allegations against the former movie mogul.

As is normal, the grand jury held its deliberations in secret. Mr Weinstein chose not to give evidence.

The charges match the ones filed in a criminal complaint last Friday by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

“This indictment brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged,” District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr said in a statement on Thursday (Wednesday local time).

“Our office will try this case not in the press but in the courtroom where it belongs. The defendant’s recent assault on the integrity of the survivors and the legal process is predictable.

“We are confident that when the jury hears the evidence, it will reject these attacks out of hand.”

Mr Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, complained that information had been withheld that would help in Weinstein’s defence.

The lawyer later confirmed his client intended to plead not guilt and “strongly denies” the allegations, which he believes are “unsupported”.

“We will soon formally move to dismiss the indictment and if this case actually proceeds to trial, we expect Mr Weinstein to be acquitted,” he said.

Weinstein is accused of forcing Lucia Evans to perform oral sex on him at his Tribeca office in 2004.

The second victim not been publicly identified, but prosecutors said the alleged attack occurred on March 18, 2013, at 569 Lexington Avenue, the address for the DoubleTree Metropolitan Hotel.

Mr Brafman has said Mr Weinstein was in a 10-year consensual relationship with the second woman, which continued after the alleged rape.

Mr Weinstein last week surrendered his passport and paid $1 million bail  to secure his release after being charged by New York police.

He agreed to wear a monitoring device and restrict his travel to New York and Connecticut.

-with AAP