Movie producer Weinstein charged with rape, sex abuse against two women

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Film producer Harvey Weinstein leaves the New York Police Department's 1st Precinct in Manhattan in New York May 25, 2018.

The allegations, first reported by the New York Times and the New Yorker previous year, gave rise to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment. He is now out on bail, wearing a monitoring device.

Harvey Weinstein surrendered to authorities in New York City on Friday to face rape and sex crime-related charges against two women.

He had arrived at a police station in lower Manhattan during the morning, carrying three books. Weinstein may have wanted to have sex, but didn't assume from the get-go he would have to rape the woman. His attorney told reporters outside court that Weinstein meant to plead not guilty to all four charges announced Friday. We believe that they are constitutionally flawed. If they find evidence of that Weinstein could face federal charges.

"The NYPD thanks these fearless survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice", the police department said.

The one-time Democratic Party donor, who hobnobbed with Hillary Clinton and once had a personal fortune estimated at $150 million, was hit Friday for the first time by criminal charges, following an avalanche of civil lawsuits. "It's whether you committed a criminal act, and Mr Weinstein vigorously denies that". Weinstein was formally charged with rape and other acts of sexual misconduct.

Watching the stunning images of Harvey Weinstein walking into a courthouse Friday in handcuffs, a detective on each arm, Louisette Geiss still felt a shiver of fear in reaction to the man who, she says, once cornered her and tried to physically force her to watch him masturbate. "It's a very good feeling..."

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'Today we are one step closer to justice.

It was a carefully choreographed performance.

She said: 'We got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got you'. When he was led into the courtroom, police still had his hands cuffed behind his back. He could not avoid the spotlight that up until months ago had always been glowing and reverential. He kept his gaze lowered amid a barrage of shouted questions.

The Kazan biography is particularly on-the-nose for the voracious reader. Kazan was also shunned by Hollywood after he outed several colleagues as communists during the McCarthy era.

Who else has accused Mr Weinstein?

Allegations from dozens of women against the once-powerhouse producer catalyzed what became known as the #MeToo movement, a national reckoning about sexual misconduct.

And in 2011 Vance took heavy flak from all sides for arresting the powerful Strauss-Kahn for alleged sexual assault on a hotel maid, and then later dropping the charges, saying he could not make a strong enough case.

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Those disheartened by that perceived reality could theoretically derive satisfaction from seeing these high-profile figures relegated to pariah status.

Actress Ashley Judd is suing the Hollywood producer, claiming he damaged her career after she rejected his sexual advances.

But advertising his connection to the Great White Way may not have been Weinstein's shrewdest move, given his role as producer of the 2015 Broadway musical Finding Neverland, since the USA attorney's office for the Southern District of NY is conducting a separate investigation into possible fraud involving Weinstein's amfAR fund-raising, which allegedly channeled some donations to the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass.in order to pay back that theater for the costs of mounting a pre-Broadway production of Finding Neverland.

Vance had decided not to prosecute Weinstein after Ambra Battilana Gutierrez accused the movie executive of groping her in 2015.

The charges came following a joint investigation between the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

At the time, Weinstein hired high-powered defense attorneys to shut down the charges, also employing K2 Intelligence, an intelligence firm specializing in corporate investigations and security.

But many remember him for his 1952 testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, when he named names of suspected Hollywood communists at a time many were losing work because of an industry blacklist. She received half a million responses in 24 hours. "I think five years from now, a lot of these weeds will be taken out".

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Numerous other media and entertainment figures accused of harassment or sexual misdeeds have avoided prosecution. On Thursday US film star Morgan Freeman apologised following allegations of sexual misconduct.

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