Harvey Weinstein arraigned on rape, criminal sex act charges

Staff Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Flinching when he heard himself described as a man who used power to prey on women, Harvey Weinstein was arraigned Friday on rape and other charges in the first criminal prosecution to result from the wave of allegations against him that sparked a national reckoning over sexual misconduct.

Seven months after the allegations destroyed his career and catalyzed the #MeToo movement, the once-powerhouse movie producer turned himself in to face the charges, which stem from encounters with two of the dozens who have accused him of sexual misdeeds ranging from harassment to assault.

"This defendant used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually," Manhattan Assistant Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said in court. Weinstein raised his eyebrows as he heard it.

Weinstein has consistently denied any allegations of nonconsensual sex. His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, didn't elaborate further on the denials Friday, saying he wasn't there "to try the case" at this point.

A judge agreed to release Weinstein on $1 million bail, with constant electronic monitoring and a ban on traveling beyond New York and Connecticut.

A make-or-break Hollywood producer until the allegations destroyed his career last fall, Weinstein, 66, found himself surrounded by lights and cameras in a spectacle he couldn't control.

"You sorry, Harvey?" came a shout from a throng of media as the once powerful movie mogul walked into a lower Manhattan courthouse in handcuffs, his head bowed. Asked "What can you say?" he mildly shook his head and softly said "No."

Weinstein was charged with rape and a criminal sex act as well as lower-level sex abuse and sexual misconduct charges.

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