Print Edition - 2018-06-06  |  Life & Style

Weinstein set to plead innocent

- AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NEW YORK

Jun 6, 2018-

Fallen movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was expected to plead innocent to rape and sexual assault charges in New York, opening a legal battle for the #MeToo movement that dreams of seeing him behind bars.

The 66-year-old Weinstein was charged with rape and a sex crime in New York late last month, nearly eight months after his career imploded in a blaze of accusations of sexual misconduct. Weinstein is due in a Manhattan court, for a formal reading of the indictment. His alleged crimes could put him in prison for as many as 25 years.

Two women are named in this indictment. But nearly a hundred have said since October they were harassed or sexually abused by Weinstein over several decades.

That has turned the one-time toast of Hollywood into the catalyst of the MeToo movement and arguably one of the worst sexual predators in recent American history.

Salma Hayek, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie are among more than two dozen actresses who say they were sexually harassed by the producer. A few, including Asia Argento and Rose McGowan, said they were raped.

Benjamin Brafman, Weinstein’s lawyer, is one of America’s most celebrated criminal defense attorneys. His past clients include former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who escaped criminal prosecution for alleged sexual assault in 2011. No details about the identity of the two accusers were given by the prosecutor.

Brafman said the rape complaint came from a woman who had a 10-year affair with Weinstein, but the information was not confirmed. The prosecutor will still have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Weinstein committed illegal acts, and with these two women specifically.

No one, however, expects the lawsuits will be dropped, as was the case for Strauss-Kahn.

Published: 06-06-2018 07:33

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