Harvey Weinstein charged with rape, other sex crimes in NYC

Harvey Weinstein charged with rape and other abuse charges in sexual assault cases

Harvey Weinstein charged with rape and other abuse charges in sexual assault cases

It's been almost eight months since accusations of rape, sex assault and harassment first surfaced against the 66-year-old Weinstein.

Several sources familiar with the investigation tell NBC News the rape charges stem from a complaint made by an anonymous woman.

Until the scandal, Weinstein was among the most influential forces in American film.

The accusations, first reported by The New York Times and The New Yorker past year, gave rise to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government, and entertainment of misconduct.

Benjamin Brafman said that Weinstein should not be tried for the prevailing Hollywood culture, and insisted that he had not acted criminally.

Bail was set at $1 million cash with a $10 million bond. Brafman also has said that Weinstein was a "principal target" of an investigation being conducted by the USA attorney's office in Manhattan. Reps for Weinstein have consistently denied that he has ever engaged in non-consensual sex.

Harvey Weinstein arriving at a police precinct in New York City's Tribeca neighborhood in Manhattan on Friday.

"Not in a million years, and one of the hardest conversations I had over and over again with these courageous women was that in addition to the sacrifice they were making in telling this story, they didn't think they would ever be heard if they did take that leap, let alone to see actual accountability", Farrow said. "This is a big strike into the heart of abuse of power, and it shows people worldwide - which is what I was hoping [for] the whole time - that this will not stand".

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Entertainment industry heavyweights distanced themselves from Weinstein after the accusations became public.

The statement did not identify the two women.

The New York Times and the New York Daily News reported Thursday that investigators were preparing to arrest Weinstein the next day. He narrowly escaped prosecution in 2015 when an Italian model went to New York City police and accused him of groping her during a meeting. Another aspiring actress, Mimi Haleyi, said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in his NY apartment in 2006.

Seven months after the accusations destroyed his career and catalyzed the #MeToo movement, the once-powerhouse movie producer turned himself in to face the charges.

Weinstein has been accused of rape, assault and other forms of sexual misconduct. In the retrial, the judge allowed five other accusers to tell similar stories of alleged abuse by the former TV star. It's unclear why the order was not prohibiting contact with both accusers.

Actress Ashley Judd last month sued Weinstein, saying he cost her a part in 1998 in the film "The Lord of the Rings" after she rejected his sexual advances, charges that Weinstein has denied.

Weinstein, he said, was coping "as well as can be expected when accused of a crime that you have not committed".

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