Harvey Weinstein faces judge on rape, criminal sex act charges

Weinstein is expected to surrender to New York City police on May 25 following a monthslong inquiry into allegations that he sexually assaulted numerous women. (Benjamin Norman  The Ne

Over six months after the first wave of bombshell allegations of rape, sexual assault, and harassment were made against Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced mogul turned himself for arrest in New York City Friday morning.

Now, actress Rose McGowan, who has accused Weinstein of raping her 20 years ago, is gratified but "still in shock" at the news that he is expected to surrender on Friday and finally face charges of sexual assault, in one of the scores of cases in which he's accused.

Dozens of women have accused the 66-year-old of rape and sexual assault, their voices being the loud force that eventually started the powerful #MeToo movement that has spread across the world. CNN reports that the 2004 victim is actress Lucia Evans, who was allegedly forced by Weinstein to perform oral sex on him.

Mr Weinstein appeared pale and stood next to Mr Brafman while prosecutors described a bail agreement.

He is due back in court in July.

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. We believe that they are constitutionally flawed. "This defendant used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually", Manhattan Assistant Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said in court.

The NYPD released a statement, saying, "The NYPD thanks these fearless survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice".

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According to the Times' Ben Mueller, one of the two women cited in the charges is actress Lucia Evans, who told her story to journalist Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker past year.

Authorities opened investigation into Weinstein's conduct.

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

Actress and director Asia Argento, who said Weinstein raped her at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, tweeted simply: "What took you so long Harvey?" "This is somebody who has been my nemesis for 20 years", she said. "The NYPD thanks these fearless survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice". Weinstein has denied having nonconsensual sex with anyone. On Thursday in the United States, Weinstein's spokesman Juda Engelmayer and Weinstein's NY lawyer Benjamin Brafman both declined to comment. "We look forward to seeing justice prevail".

The rape charge relates to a woman who was not identified.

"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", he said. More than 80 allegations have been leveled at Weinstein since last fall. "What everyone said would never happen, happened - and it took a group of fierce, fearless women to take him down".

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