Harvey Weinstein Pleads Not Guilty to Rape and Criminal Sex Act Charges
Disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and a criminal sex act.
Weinstein was arraigned in court in New York City before Judge James Burke following his indictment by a grand jury last week on charges of first- and third-degree rape (one count each) and one count of first-degree criminal sexual act.
Weinstein’s not guilty plea was anticipated. The grand jury is still hearing evidence from witnesses and could add more charges, according to the New York Times. Weinstein is due back in court on July 20.
More than 80 women have accused the former Hollywood mogul of sexual assault or harassment. Some claim he threatened career ramifications if they did not comply with his demands. His studio, the Weinstein Company, was one of the most powerful in the film industry. It has since filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex. His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, on Tuesday said that Weinstein is “presumed innoncent,” per the Guardian.
“He has denied these charges and intends to fight them,” Brafman said. “These cases have created a firestorm of publicity. My job is to defend specific allegations of sexual misconduct, not the issue of the Hollywood casting couch over the last 30 or 100 years.”