Harvey Weinstein to enter not guilty plea saying sexual activity 'was consensual'

Update - 3.13pm: Speaking to the press, Harvey Weinstein's lawyer has said the Hollywood producer will enter a plea of not guilty.

"Mr Weinstein will enter a plea of not guilty. We intend to move very quickly to dismiss these charges, we believe that they are constitutionally flawed, we believe that they are not factually supported by the evidence"

Weinstein posted a one million dollar cash bail (€853,146) and agreed to wear an electronic tracking device as he faced an arraignment hearing at the Criminal Court in New York.

He is also surrendering his passport, and will not be able to travel outside of the states of New York and Connecticut.

Weinstein's lawyer Benjamin Brafman told reporters outside the court in New York: "Mr Weinstein will enter a plea of not guilty.

"We intend to move very quickly to dismiss these charges, we believe that they are constitutionally flawed, we believe that they are not factually supported by the evidence and we believe that by the end of the process, Mr Weinstein will be exonerated."

He said that Weinstein is doing "as well as can be expected when you are accused of a crime that you vehemently deny having committed".

Mr Brafman said that Weinstein has "always maintained that any sexual activity he engaged in was consensual".

"He has vehemently denied any of the allegations which suggest that he engaged in non-consensual sexual activity.

"Many of these allegations are long overdue, quite frankly, having been made about events that are alleged to have occurred many years ago.

"They were not reported to the police at the time these events occurred and I anticipate that the women who have made these allegations, when subjected to cross examination - in the event we even get that far - that the charges will not be believed by 12 people, assuming we get 12 fair people who are not consumed by the movement that seems to have overtaken this case."

Weinstein accuser and actress Lysette Anthony celebrated the producer being charged in a post on Twitter.

"And so it begins- #JusticeForAll #MeToo," she wrote alongside news of his arrest.

Update - 1.43pm: Harvey Weinstein has been charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women, police in New York have said.

A statement from the New York Police Department confirmed the charges and thanked "these brave survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice".

The arrest and charges follow the joint investigation between the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

A police official previously said Weinstein will be charged with committing a criminal sex act after an aspiring actress alleged he forced her to perform oral sex in 2004.

It relates to a woman who has not been identified or spoken publicly, the official said.

Weinstein emerged from the NYPD's 1st Precinct in handcuffs with a smile on his face, after being charged with rape, a criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct.

He was put into a black car and driven away from the police station.

12.23pm: Harvey Weinstein hands himself in at New York police stationFilm producer Harvey Weinstein has handed himself in at a police station in New York where he's expected to face charges following months of allegations of sexual misconduct.

The exact charges have not been confirmed however some are believed to relate to allegations from former actress Lucia Evans.

Weinstein has denied all accusations of non-consensual sex.

He said nothing as he arrived at the New York Police Department's 1st Precinct on Friday morning, wearing a black suit, white shirt and blue jumper.

Weinstein was clutching two books, Something Wonderful: Rodgers And Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution, by Todd S Purdum, and Richard Schickel's biography of producer, director and writer Elia Kazan.

He is expected to be taken to Manhattan Criminal Court later today to be arraigned on charges, US media reports.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that investigators in Manhattan were preparing to arrest the disgraced movie mogul and he was expected to surrender to authorities.

Dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, ranging from inappropriate comments to alleged rape.

It was reported earlier this week that federal prosecutors in New York had launched an inquiry into the allegations, which is separate from the investigation currently under way by the Manhattan District Attorney, the film producer's lawyer said in a court filing.

In a declaration filed on May 3 in the Weinstein Co's bankruptcy proceedings, lawyer Benjamin Brafman said Weinstein was a "principal target" of an investigation being carried out by the US attorney's office in Manhattan.

He added: "I am trying my very best to persuade both the federal and state prosecutors that he should not be arrested and or indicted, because he did not knowingly violate the law."

Mr Braffman added that the allegations against Weinstein are "entirely without merit".

The film director is under criminal investigation in New York, Los Angeles and London.

He has not been charged with any crimes, though police in New York have said publicly that they believe there is enough evidence to make an arrest.

- Digital Desk


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