Harvey Weinstein has been charge on rape and sex crime charges. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. released a statement on Weinstein’s indictment Wednesday, stating, “A Grand Jury has voted to indict Harvey Weinstein on charges of Rape in the First and Third Degrees, and Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree.”
“This indictment brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged,” the statement continues. “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.”
The statement concludes, “I thank the heroic survivors for their strength throughout this process. I also thank Commissioner James O’Neill and members of the New York City Police Department for their dedication to this case. This investigation remains active and ongoing. We continue to urge additional survivors and others with relevant information to call us at 212-335-9373.”
In response, Weinstein’s attorney Ben Brafman released a statement on behalf of his client.
“The announcement of Mr. Weinstein’s Indictment, does not come as a surprise,” the statement begins. “Indeed, it was predicted by me this morning in an earlier statement we issued. We also note of course that the Indictment merely mirrors the same charges in the criminal court Complaint and does not add anything to the case we did not already know.”
“We asked the District Attorney for more time so that Mr Weinstein’s attorneys could gather the material needed to properly prepare him for his grand jury testimony but that request was denied,” the statement continues. “We remind everyone that an Indictment is merely a formal accusation. Mr Weinstein intends to enter a plea of Not Guilty and vigorously defend against these unsupported allegations that he strongly denies. We will soon formally move to dismiss the indictment and if this case actually proceeds to trial, we expect Mr Weinstein to be acquitted.”
UPDATE from E! : After a closed door hearing today, a lawyer for Harvey Weinstein spoke out in regards to the unnamed woman accusing the Hollywood producer of rape.
“This is an extraordinary case in my judgment, where the only rape victim that Mr. Weinstein is accused of raping is someone who he has had a 10-year consensual sexual relationship with,” attorney Benjamin Brafman shared with reporters via the New York Times. “There is a confluence of concerns that make me concerned that it’s going to be difficult for people who are judging this case to keep an open mind and be fair…I think at the end of the day Mr. Weinstein will be exonerated of these charges.”
Prosecutors have not identified either victim in court papers. The first alleged victim Lucia Evans, however, has spoken to the The New Yorker. The second woman has yet to be publicly identified.
Harvey Weinstein’s day of reckoning has come.
Around 7:30 a.m., the producer surrendered to authorities at the New York Police Department’s 1st Precinct, where was fingerprinted and photographed. Just before 8:30 a.m., he was charged with rape, a criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women. “The NYPD thanks these brave survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice,” a spokesperson said. “The arrest and ensuing charges are the result of a joint investigation between the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.” He was transported to New York County Criminal Court at 8:55 a.m.; two sources told NBC News he is expected to be released on $1 million bail and required to wear an ankle monitor.
A smiling Weinstein, wearing a blue sweater and a black blazer, ignored reporters’ questions when he first showed up to turn himself in. He was seen carrying three books, including Elia Kazan: A Biography and Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution.
Several sources familiar with the investigation tell NBC News the rape charges stem from a complaint made by an anonymous woman. The sex abuse charges stem from a complaint from Lucia Evans, who told The New Yorker in an interview published Thursday, “At a certain point, you have to think about the greater good of humanity, of womankind.” Initially hesitant to press charges, she later changed her mind. “They said that if I do nothing, Harvey would walk.”
Last fall, Evans went public with claims that Weinstein had sexually assaulted her in his office in 2004. “He forced me to perform oral sex on him. I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this. Stop. Don’t,” she told Farrow. But Weinstein is a “big guy,” Evans noted. “He overpowered me.”