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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Harvey Weinstein charged with rape

The movie mogul turned himself in to police in New York on Friday

Harvey Weinstein is escorted into court in New York. Weinstein surrendered Friday to face rape and other charges from encounters with two women. Mark Lennihan/ AP Photo
Harvey Weinstein is escorted into court in New York. Weinstein surrendered Friday to face rape and other charges from encounters with two women. Mark Lennihan/ AP Photo

Harvey Weinstein was arrested and charged with a series of sex crimes on Friday, according to the New York Police Department.

The fallen movie mogul faces accusations of rape, committing a criminal sex act, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct relating to attacks involving two women.

In front of a crowd of news cameras, Mr Weinstein, 66, walked from a black SUV into the Manhattan police station, saying nothing as reporters shouted his name.

He left the station around an hour later in handcuffs and was taken to a nearby criminal court house where he was formally arraigned.

Mr Weinstein, whose films have won multiple academy awards, had handed over a cheque for $1 million (Dh3.67m) as part of his bail.

He also agreed to other bail conditions including surrendering his passport and to wear a monitoring device, which he paid for himself.

In the court house, prosecutors said Mr Weinstein used his money, position and power to sexually assault women.

Lucia Evans, who accused the former studio boss of forcing her into oral sex in 2004, is thought to be one of the women whose cases he has been charged over.

US media had previously reported that Mr Weinstein would also be charged with raping one other woman.

Prosecutors have been under growing pressure from the Time's Up movement to bring the disgraced individual to justice.

The Manhattan district attorney's office and New York police have been investigating the former producer for months.

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Mr Weinstein's defence attorney declined to comment on Friday but has previously said that allegations about his client were "entirely without merit" and that the producer never knowingly broke the law.

Ms Evans, who was an aspiring actress at the time of the alleged assault, said in a story published by the New Yorker in October that Mr Weinstein had forced her to perform oral sex on him at his New York office.

"I said, over and over, 'I don't want to do this, stop, don't,'" she told the magazine. "I tried to get away, but maybe I didn't try hard enough. I didn't want to kick him or fight him."

Several actresses and models have accused Mr Weinstein of sexual assault.

Police in New York confirmed they were investigating two allegations of rape in 2010 made by Boardwalk Empire actress Paz de la Huerta last year.

Officials said that Ms de la Huerta is not one of Friday's cases as the investigation is still continuing.

Speaking on Friday morning, actress Rose McGowan, who accused Mr Weinstein of raping her in 1997, said she had given up hope that he would be brought to justice.

“Twenty years ago, I swore I would right this wrong. Today we are one step closer to justice," the Charmed star said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

“We were young women who were assaulted by Weinstein and later terrorised by his vast network of complicity. I stand with my fellow survivors. May this give hope to all victims and survivors everywhere that are telling their truths.”

Ms McGowan's case happened too long ago to be prosecuted.

New York removed the statute of limitations for rape and certain other sex crimes in 2006 but not for attacks that happened before 2001.