NEW YORK, May 25. /TASS/. US film producer Harvey Weinstein, accused of rape and sexual misconduct, appeared before a Manhattan court, on Friday. He was released on $1 mln bail, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reported.
Earlier, New York police arrested Weinstein on rape and sexual misconduct charges. The producer turned himself into the police and was later escorted to court in handcuffs.
During the hearing, the prosecutor read out the official charges. According to the prosecution, the producer "used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually."
The court has set a $1 mln bail for Weinstein’s release. According to AP, Weinstein paid the stipulated sum in cash and then left the court’s premises. The producer is required to wear a tracking device, and he is not allowed to leave the states of New York and Connecticut.
According to the defendant’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, Weinstein plans to plead not guilty, and hopes that the court will clear him of all charges. The date of the next court hearing has been set for July 30.
According to The New York Times, one of the women who has filed charges against Weinstein chose to remain anonymous. The second woman’s name is Lucia Evans; she claims that in 2004, Weinstein forced her to have sexual intercourse with him. A specially established grand jury found the women’s allegations sufficient to refer the case to court.
In October 2017, The New York Times published an article following a journalistic investigation, which said that Weinstein had been sexually harassing his female staff for about 30 years. Since then, more than 80 women, including actresses Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek, have made accusations against him, while some of them publicly accused him of rape.
In the wake of the scandal, the 66-year-old producer left the Weinstein Company, which he personally established. He was also expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (known around the world for its annual Academy Awards - the Oscars) and the Producers Guild of America.