NEW YORK — A New York City grand jury has indicted movie producer Harvey Weinstein on rape charges, the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said on Wednesday.
Weinstein turned himself in to New York police last week and was released on bail.
“This indictment brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged,” Vance said in a statement on the charges against the disgraced 66-year-old co-founder of the Miramax film studio and the Weinstein Co.
Weinstein, who previously denied any nonconsensual sexual encounters, has been charged with rape in the first and third degrees, and criminal sexual act in the first degree.
The announcement came hours after Weinstein’s lawyers said he’d decline to testify before the grand jury because there wasn’t enough time to prepare him and “political pressure” made an indictment unavoidable.
Weinstein’s indictment by a grand jury follows his arrest and court appearance last Friday on charges related to two women among the scores who have accused him of sexual misconduct, all of which he has denied.
Ben Brafman, the head of Weinstein’s legal team, said his client would plead not guilty and defend himself against the charges.
If convicted on the most serious charges, Weinstein could face between five and 25 years in prison.
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