NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A grand jury has indicted Harvey Weinstein on charges of rape and criminal sex act, the Manhattan district attorney’s office announced Wednesday.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said the indictment “brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged.”
“Our office will try this case not in the press, but in the courtroom where it belongs,” Vance said in a statement. “The defendant’s recent assault on the integrity of the survivors and the legal process is predictable. We are confident that when the jury hears the evidence, it will reject these attacks out of hand.”
Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, responded with a statement of his own, saying, “We remind everyone that an indictment is merely a formal accusation.”
“Mr. Weinstein intends to enter a plea of Not Guilty and vigorously defend against these unsupported allegations that he strongly denies,” the statement continued. “We will soon formally move to dismiss the indictment and if this case actually proceeds to trial, we expect Mr Weinstein to be acquitted.”
The disgraced Hollywood mogul turned himself in to authorities last Friday and was arraigned on rape, criminal sex act, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct charges. He maintains any sexual activity he engaged in was consensual.
Vance said the charges stem from the complaints of two women, including former actress Lucia Evans, who says Weinstein allegedly forced her to perform oral sex during a daytime meeting at his New York office in 2004.
“I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,'” she told The New Yorker. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough.”
Following the news of Weinstein’s indictment Wednesday, Evan’s attorney said in a statement, “What Mr. Weinstein’s attorneys call casting couch behavior we know is actually a sex crime. A ‘movement’ doesn’t indict. A grand jury does.”
The other woman says Weinstein allegedly raped her at the Doubletree hotel in Midtown in 2013.
“I thank the heroic survivors for their strength throughout this process,” Vance said in his statement Wednesday, adding “We continue to urge additional survivors and others with relevant information to call us at 212-335-9373.”
On Tuesday, Brafman met with a judge in Lower Manhattan, raising concerns about whether is client will receive a fair trial.
Weinstein posted $1 million bail last week. He was ordered to surrender his passport, stay within New York and Connecticut and wear an electronic monitoring device.
He is due back in court next month.