Harvey Weinstein appears in court on sex assault charges

The disgraced producer surrendered to police in New York earlier

Harvey Weinstein appears in court on sex assault charges

Harvey Weinstein turns himself to authorities following allegations of sexual misconduct, 25-05-2018. Image: Julio Cortez/AP/Press Association Images

Updated: 18.20

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has appeared in court in New York to face a number of charges, including rape and a criminal sex act.

The charges, which relate to two women in 2004 and 2013, are the first to be brought against the 66-year-old following allegations by dozens of women which gave rise to the #MeToo movement last year.

Weinstein, who surrendered himself in Manhattan, did not speak to reporters as he entered the police building in front of dozens of cameras.

Nor did he say anything as he was led out less than an hour later, in handcuffs and smiling.

Shortly afterwards, he appeared in court and agreed to post US$1m (€850,000) bail, wear an electronic monitor, surrender his passport and restrict his travel to New York state and Connecticut.

In court, he appeared pale as he listened to Manhattan assistant attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon describe him as a man who had "used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually".

Weinstein did not enter a plea, as is common at this stage.

Media mogul Harvey Weinstein is seen arriving to surrender himself to the New York Police Department, 25-05-2018. Image: Albin Lohr-Jones

However, his lawyer Benjamin Brafman said afterwards that he would be pleading not guilty.

He said: "We intend to move very quickly to dismiss these charges.

"We believe that they are constitutionally flawed... they are not factually supported by the evidence."

The 2004 charge relates to former actress Lucia Evans, who has said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex in his office that year.

Ms Evans' lawyer Carrie Goldberg said: "We are relieved and grateful that justice is coming, but we also mourn the cases where it didn't."

The other charge relates to a woman who has not been identified and who may choose to remain anonymous.

In a statement, New York Police Department said: "Harvey Weinstein was arrested, processed and charged with Rape, Criminal Sex Act, Sex Abuse and Sexual Misconduct for incidents involving two separate women.

"The NYPD thanks these brave survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice."

Actress Rose McGowan, who was among the first to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, said: "I actually did not believe this day would come."

Earlier, she simply tweeted the words: "We got you".

She told NBC's Megyn Kelly Today programme: "This is a big strike into the heart of abuse of power."

Weinstein was fired as chief executive of The Weinstein Company after the allegations emerged last year, and his wife is also in the process of divorcing him.
He has repeatedly denied any non-consensual sexual activity.