Beleaguered movie tycoon Harvey Weinstein pleaded, on Monday, not guilty to several new charges for sexual advances against a third woman, who came forward to accuse him of misconduct that dates back to 2006.
A grand jury charged the 66-year-old disgraced producer with one count of criminal sexual act in the third degree as well as two counts of predatory sexual assault, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, NBC News reported.
In a press statement, District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance said, “A Manhattan Grand Jury has now indicted Harvey Weinstein on some of the most serious sexual offenses that exist under New York’s Penal Law.”
Weinstein’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, asserted his innocence, saying he expected the movie producer to be “fully vindicated.”
Weinstein previously faced charges of raping a woman in a hotel room in 2013 and forcing another one to perform oral sex on him in 2004.
After requesting protection for “two additional survivors,” Manhattan prosecutors are expected to levy even more charges against the former co-chairman of the now defunct The Weinstein Company.
After the Monday court hearing, Brafman said they will address any new legal tribulations as “they come.” Although Weinstein entered court in handcuffs and has surrendered his passport, prosecutors pushed for new bail restrictions, including house arrest.
“He is currently without a passport and there is a million-dollar bail posted and he has an electronic device on him,” Brafman successfully argued in court.
While Weinstein left the courthouse without talking to journalists, Brafman dismissed any allegations against his client as “preposterous” and a smear campaign by “Pulitzer-driven reporters.” (The New York Times and the New Yorker shared a Pulitzer Prize, the highest journalistic honor, for public service for exposing Weinstein’s alleged sexual wrongdoings).
The lawyer for the third accuser, Gloria Allred, offered counter-comments. She said Weinstein needs to take the stand in order to prove any sexual encounter was consensual.
“Are you really willing to have your client face the jury?” she asked after Brafman stepped down from the microphone. “I doubt that you will take that risk, Mr. Brafman.”
Allred declined to identify her client or provide any further details into her story, which, she said, will be recounted in trail.
Weinstein turned himself in in June and pleaded not guilty to three felony counts in New York Supreme Court. He is currently free on a $1 million bond and purportedly dissects scripts and works as a paralegal.