NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Harvey Weinstein was arraigned Friday on rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct charges after surrendering to police in Lower Manhattan.
Prosecutors said the former movie mogul “used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually.”
Weinstein and his team had pre-negotiated a bail package which included that he pay $1 million bail, wear an electronic monitor and surrender his passport. He can also only travel within New York and Connecticut.
He is due back in court in July.
In a statement, District Attorney Cy Vance said the charges stem from incidents involving two women in 2013 and 2004, respectively.
“Today’s charges reflect significant progress in this active, ongoing investigation,” Vance said in a statement. “I thank the brave survivors who have come forward, and my Office’s prosecutors who have worked tirelessly on this investigation.”
“The NYPD thanks these brave survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice,” police said in a statement.
Speaking outside the courthouse following the arraignment, Weinstein’s attorney Ben Brafman said they “intend to move very quickly to dismiss these charges” and believes Weinstein will be exonerated.
“Mr. Weinstein will enter a plea of not guilty,” Brafman told reporters, adding that his client “has always maintained that any sexual activity he engaged in was consensual.”
He also said he doesn’t think a jury would believe the women who are accusing Weinstein “when subjected to cross-examination, in the event we even get that far.”
“Assuming we get 12 fair people who are not consumed by the movement that seems to have overtaken this case,” he said.
“Mr. Weinstein did not invent the casting couch in Hollywood and to the extent that there is bad behavior in that industry, that is not what this is about. Bad behavior is not on trial in this case,” Brafman said.
The attorney for Lucia Evans, who claims she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein, released a statement saying “we are relieved and grateful that justice is coming.”
“Over the next few months, we’ll be hearing from Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers, saying the victims are liars, that their client is being tried ‘by the movement’ or the press,” attorney Carrie Goldman said. “Those are the desperate excuses of somebody who thought he’d never get caught.”
Before his arraignment, Weinstein was walked out of the 1st precinct in handcuffs and escorted by officers as he headed to court.
Weinstein surrendered to police earlier Friday morning, not saying anything as he stepped out from a black SUV in front of a crowd of reporters and cameras.
As he walked into the station, he was holding three books. Two of them appeared to be: “Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution” and “Elia Kazan: A Biography.”
It was not immediately clear why he had those books. Public speculation focused on the book about Kazan, who directed the stage and film versions of Tennessee William’s “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and became a notorious figure during the McCarthy era after naming names of suspected Communists. The Kazan book came out in 2005, the Rodgers and Hammerstein book this spring.
Weinstein handed off the books at the police station, where he was booked quickly. An associate was carrying them when he left court a few hours later.
In an earlier time, both would have been likely film projects for the disgraced movie mogul, who pleaded not guilty to charges he raped one woman and forced another to perform oral sex.
It’s been nearly eight months since accusations of rape, sex assault and harassment first surfaced against the 66-year-old Weinstein. More than 80 allegations have been leveled at Weinstein since last fall.
Friday’s charges stem from complaints from two women, including former actress Lucia Evans, who says in 2004, Weinstein allegedly assaulted her in the former offices for the Weinstein company. The other says Weinstein allegedly raped her at the Doubletree hotel in Midtown in 2013.
Weinstein is also reportedly the subject of a federal investigation looking into whether he arranged the travel of women across state lines for the purposes of having sex with them.
“We got you, Harvey Weinstein, we got,” tweeted actress Rose McGowan. McGowan was one of Weinstein’s earliest accusers.
Just last week, actress Asia Aregento spoke about what she says was her experience with Weinstein at the Cannes Film Festival.
“In 1997, I was raped by Harvey Weinstein here at Cannes,” she said. “I was 21 years old.”
On Friday she tweeted, “Harvey Weinstein ain’t smiling now.”
When asked what they have to say to the dozens of women who have accused Weinstein of allegedly engaging in a pattern of behavior and misconduct, Brafman said Friday that his job “is not to defend behavior.”
“My job is to defend something that is criminal behavior,” he said. “Mr. Weinstein did not invent the casting couch in Hollywood and to the extent that there is bad behavior in that industry, that is not what this is about. Bad behavior is not on trial in this case. It’s only if you intentionally committed a criminal act and Mr. Weinstein vigorously denies that.”
Weinstein has repeatedly denied accusations of non-consensual sex.
“We’re seeing justice served today in the case of Harvey Weinstein,” Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted. “But it begs the question: When so many women have come forward to accuse [President Donald Trump] of sexual harassment, how is there no investigation?”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)