“We fight these battles one day at a time, and today we won this round,” defence attorney Ben Brafman said outside court. Brafman said during an arraignment that he expects more charges.
Weinstein pleaded not guilty after he was brought into the courtroom while handcuffed from behind, then uncuffed for the proceeding.
An updated indictment unveiled last week alleges the movie mogul-turned-#MeToo villain performed a forcible sex act on a woman in 2006. The new charges include two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison upon conviction.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said the 66-year-old Weinstein is charged with “some of the most serious sexual offences” that exist under state law.
“Mr. Weinstein maintains that all of these allegations are false and he expects to be fully vindicated,” Brafman said.
More than 75 women have accused Weinstein, who was one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, of wrongdoing as allegations detailed in Pulitzer Prize-winning stories last October in The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine swelled into the #MeToo movement.
Several actresses and models accused Weinstein of criminal sexual assaults. They include: film actress Rose McGowan, who said Weinstein raped her in 1997 in Utah; “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra, who said he raped her in her New York apartment in 1992; and the Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe, who said he attacked her in a London hotel room in 2008.
Weinstein, who produced movies including “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love,” has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex, with his attorney challenging the credibility of his accusers.
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly.
Michael Sisak, The Associated Press