Harvey Weinstein life in prison?
Things just got even more real for Harvey Weinstein. Photo: Getty Images

New criminal charges against Harvey Weinstein mean the potential for more serious punishment if the fallen film mogul is found guilty. Weinstein has been free on a $1 million bail after surrendering in May to face two sexual assault charges, but a new indictment announced Monday carries a heavy sentence. 

The new criminal charges against Weinstein accuse him of sexually assaulting a third woman in addition to the two mentioned in earlier charges, the Manhattan district attorney said Monday. The indictment accuses Weinstein of forcibly performing oral sex on a woman in July 2006. The new charges, which include predatory sexual assault, carry a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, according to the office of District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

Weinstein, 66, once one of Hollywood's most powerful filmmakers, has pleaded not guilty to the first set of charges and has denied ever having non-consensual sex. 

More than 70 women — mostly young actresses and women in other aspects of the movie business  have accused the Miramax film studio's co-founder of sexual misconduct, including rape, in a series of incidents dating back decades. The accusations gave rise to the #MeToo movement, which has seen hundreds of women publicly accusing powerful men in business, government and entertainment of sexual harassment and abuse.

 

Prosecutors have not named any of the women accusing Weinstein of sexual assault in court papers.

The details of one of the cases in the earlier charges align with the account of Lucia Evans, a former aspiring actress who told the New Yorker in October 2017 that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004. The earlier indictment also accused him of raping a different woman in March 2013.

As the accusations against him came out, the Weinstein Co's board fired him, the company filed for bankruptcy in March, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled Weinstein.

In years past, the academy had showered him with Oscars for a string of films that helped define independent cinema in the 1990s. Miramax and later the Weinstein Co put out acclaimed movies such as "Shakespeare in Love," "Pulp Fiction," "Sex, Lies and Videotape," "The Crying Game" and "The King's Speech."

London's Metropolitan Police and Los Angeles prosecutors have said they are reviewing accusations of sexual assault against Weinstein.

Reuters contributed to this report.