NEW YORK: Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein appeared in handcuffs in a New York court yesterday to face charges of rape and other sex crimes against two of the scores of women who have accused him of misconduct, ending his reign as a Hollywood kingpin.
Weinstein, the 66-year-old co-founder of the Miramax film studio and the Weinstein Company, intends to plead not guilty to the charges, his attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said outside the Manhattan courthouse.
Prosecutors charged him with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act following a months-long investigation with the New York Police Department. They did not identify the two women, but said the crimes took place in 2004 and 2013. If convicted on the most serious charges, Weinstein could face between five and 25 years in prison.
Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women, with some of the allegations dating back decades. He has denied ever having nonconsensual sex.
The accusations, first reported last year by the New York Times and the New Yorker, gave rise to the #MeToo movement, in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of sexual misconduct.
“This defendant used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually,” prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said at Weinstein’s arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Judge Kevin McGrath ordered Weinstein released on $1 million cash bail and the case was adjourned to July 30. Weinstein surrendered his US passport and agreed to wear a monitoring device that tracks his location, confining him to the states of New York and Connecticut.