Harvey Weinstein is facing new criminal charges. An indictment against the disgraced producer, revealed Monday, accuses him of sexually assaulting a woman and committing a pattern of sex crimes — charges that could carry a life sentence.
Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said Weinstein would plead not guilty.
The new indictment, by a grand jury in New York, comes on top of a previous indictment that accused Weinstein of raping a different woman in 2013 and sexually assaulting another woman in 2004 — charges to which he also pleaded not guilty.
The new indictment charges Weinstein with one count of a criminal sexual act in the first degree, alleging he forcibly performed oral sex on a woman in July 2006. It also charges him with two counts of felony predatory sexual assault. One of those counts involves the woman in the 2006 allegations; the other involves the woman he was charged with raping in 2013.
In levying the charges of predatory sexual assault, Manhattan Dist. Atty. Cyrus Vance and his legal team may be able to include testimony from some of Weinstein’s other accusers. More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of misconduct, including sexual harassment and rape, and police in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, New York and London have conducted investigations into more than 20 allegations.
“A Manhattan grand jury has now indicted Harvey Weinstein on some of the most serious sexual offenses that exist under New York’s penal law,” Vance said Monday.
Brafman said in an email that Weinstein “maintains that all of these allegations are false and he expects to be fully vindicated.”
Brafman also said that Weinstein’s interactions with the women were consensual and the charges were unjustified. The producer has repeatedly denied engaging in nonconsensual sex.
The previous indictment charged Weinstein with two counts of rape and one count of first-degree criminal sex act. Last month, he pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Weinstein, 66, surrendered to police in May, and he was marched in handcuffs past a throng of reporters outside the New York Police Department’s 1st Precinct. His arrest marked a significant victory for the #MeToo movement, which was born after dozens of women came forward to accuse the film mogul of using his power and influence to sexually exploit young women, including many aspiring actresses.
Prosecutors have not named the alleged victims in either New York case, though one related to the first indictment is believed to be a woman who accused Weinstein of sexual assault in an October article in New Yorker magazine.
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey’s team has been reviewing two investigations into Weinstein by Beverly Hills police, as well as three Los Angeles Police Department investigations — including an Italian actress’ allegation that Weinstein raped her in 2013. That actress is not involved in the New York allegations.
Weinstein is currently free on $1-million cash bail, and his movements are restricted to New York and Connecticut. He consented to 24-hour-a-day GPS monitoring and a temporary restraining order requested by one accuser.
The accusations against Weinstein sparked the #MeToo movement, which has seen countless people accuse powerful Hollywood figures, entertainers and others of sexual exploitation and assault. A raft of notable personalities — including comedian Louis CK, former news anchor Matt Lauer, actor Kevin Spacey and former Sen. Al Franken — have been ensnared by such accusations in recent months.