harvey weinstein
Film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, U.S., July 9, 2018. Photo: Reuters

Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty in court Monday when arraigned on charges for a third criminal sex assault case brought against him.

Weinstein is charged with criminal sexual act in the first degree for a forcible sexual act against a third woman in 2006, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance's office, as well as two counts of predatory sexual assault, a felony which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.

These charges are in addition to the charges of rape regarding forcible sexual acts against two women in 2013 and 2004. Weinstein was arrested and charged for those cases in May, when he appeared at a Manhattan NYPD station and was promptly released on $1 million bail.

Weinstein appeared in New York state Supreme Court on Monday, where he entered his not guilty plea and was then released on bail.

 

“We fight these battles one day at a time, and today we won this round,” defense attorney Ben Brafman said outside the court.

With the announcement of the third criminal sex assault case brought against Weinstein, the Manhattan D.A. said that the 66-year-old movie mogul is charged with "some of the most serious sexual offenses that exist under New York’s Penal Law."

“This indictment is the result of the extraordinary courage exhibited by the survivors who have come forward," Vance continued in a statement. "Our investigation continues. If you are a survivor of the predatory abuse with which Mr. Weinstein is charged, there is still time to pursue justice. Please call us at 212-335-9373.”

More than 70 women, mostly young actresses and women employed in other areas of the movie business, have accused Weinstein, who co-founded the Miramax film studio, of sexual misconduct, including rape, in a series of incidents dating back decades.

The accusations gave rise to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of sexual harassment and abuse, lifting a shroud that had long shielded such behavior.

Prosecutors contend that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on the woman who was his 2006 victim. The charges against Weinstein stem from a months-long, ongoing investigation by the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors have not named the women accusing Weinstein of sexual assault. Details from the 2004 case align with an account by Lucia Evans, a former aspiring actress who told the New Yorker magazine in October 2017 that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex.

London police and Los Angeles prosecutors have also been reviewing sexual assault accusations against Weinstein.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

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