Harvey Weinstein Pleads Not Guilty To Rape Charges

Last fall, multiple women spoke to The New York Times and The New Yorker, accusing Weinstein of sexual misconduct, ranging from inappropriate touching to rape, stretching back over decades.

Several men have been professionally toppled by such accounts, including former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who had been in the middle of prosecuting the case against Weinstein, when he stepped down last month after accusations of physical and sexual abuse by several women.

Weinstein, 66, had been expected to plead not guilty and remains free on bail. Comedian Bill Cosby in April was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a onetime friend, one of dozens of women who have accused the comedian and former TV star of sexual misconduct.

His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has challenged the credibility of his alleged victims and says his client is confident he is going to clear his name.

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In a statement responding to the indictment, Mr Brafman said: "The announcement of Mr Weinstein's indictment, does not come as a surprise..."

"Mr. Weinstein has denied these crimes". She told her story in October to the magazine The New Yorker.

"Today is the first day of this process", he said.

Following public revelations past year about his predatory behaviour, Thompson said she was referred to Brafman and another attorney at his firm, Alex Spiro.

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"The tabloids have created an issue that doesn't, in my opinion, exist", he said. His explanations appeared to satisfy Illuzzi and the judge, though not before Weinstein waived his right to cite conflict of interest by his attorney at a later point, a move seemingly meant to head off a potential appeal.

"We accept Mr. Brafman's representation", she said. He abandoned the powder-blue sweater for a dark jacket, and his face was grimly inexpressive, betraying little emotion as he was led in and out of the courtroom.

After the hearing ended, Brafman briefly addressed reporters outside the courthouse.

"As bad as the crime of rape is, it is equally reprehensible to be falsely accused", Mr Brafman said. Prosecutors did not speak to the press, quietly exiting elevators five floors before the arraignment room.

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