Harvey Weinstein charged with sexual offences

Harvey Weinstein at the inaugural Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi UAE

Harvey Weinstein at the inaugural Middle East International Film Festival in Abu Dhabi UAE

It was the first time he has been since in public since the mountain of allegations from dozens of women - including some of Hollywood's biggest stars - were first reported past year.

Police say Harvey Weinstein has been arrested on rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct charges for encounters with two women.

Ben Brafman, Weinstein´s powerful defense attorney, has declined to comment on his client´s planned surrender.

Evans' allegations added to those of dozens of other women, who claimed that Weinstein had engaged in a vast range of sexual misconduct dating back almost four decades, ranging from inappropriate touching to incidents of rape.

Weinstein has repeatedly denied any allegations of non-consensual sex and intends to plead not guilty, his lawyer Benjamin Brafman said outside court. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY is purportedly looking at whether Weinstein "lured or induced any women to travel across state lines for the goal of committing a sex crime".

The Manhattan district attorney's office and NY police have investigated Weinstein for months, coming under growing pressure from the Time's Up movement to bring the disgraced producer to justice.

It is not clear yet if Weinstein will also face federal charges.

According to reports, more than 100 women have accused Weinstein of crimes ranging from sexual harassment to assault and rape going back 40 years.

Law enforcement officials tell the Associated Press that the disgraced movie mogul will surrender on Friday in NY for allegedly assaulting Lucia Evans, who has claimed that he forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004.

Police set up a sting in which the woman recorded herself confronting Weinstein.

And when women or journalists threatened to publicize these claims, Weinstein allegedly sought to pay for their silence or intimidate them with threats and even a reported "army of spies" to press for their silence. The case would be the first criminal charge against the film producer since scores of women began coming forward to accuse him of harassment or assault, triggering a cascade of accusations against media and entertainment figures that has become known as the #MeToo movement.

There is no statute of limitations for such crimes in NY.

The 66-year-old also surrendered his passport and agreed to stay within the states of NY and CT.

In February 2018, The Weinstein Company, which was co-founded by Weinstein filed for bankruptcy following a last-ditch deal failed.

"As the court can appreciate, saving someone from unwarranted criminal prosecution is far more significant that having a baseless prosecution implode months or years from now after Mr. Weinstein's life and the lives of his family have been irreparably destroyed", he added.

She was one of the earliest Harvey Weinstein accusers, and she thought the mogul might never face justice in a court of law. He agreed to electronic monitoring and to stay within NY and CT.

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