Lawyer Ben Brafman said the movie mogul-turned-#MeToo villain is essentially working as his paralegal and that they're stacking up "overwhelming evidence" from email traffic and witness accounts to refute allegations that, so far, have led to criminal charges involving three of the dozens of women who've accused Weinstein of wrongdoing. Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, the lead prosecutor, began the proceeding by asking that Weinstein instead be confined to house arrest in Manhattan given the more serious charges he now faces.
According to ABC News, the former movie mogul has now been released on bail after pleading not guilty.
Harvey Weinstein was led into a NY courtroom in handcuffs this morning and entered a plea of not guilty to charges of committing a forcible sexual act in the first degree.
Harvey Weinstein pled not guilty to sexually assaulting a woman in 2006 during an arraignment in downtown Manhattan on Monday. "Furthermore, to charge Mr. Weinstein as a predator when the interactions were each consensual is simply not justified".
NY state Supreme Court Justice James Burke rejected a request by prosecutors to order house arrest for Weinstein, allowing him to remain free on the $1 million bail that has been in effect following his May not guilty plea on charges that he assaulted two other women, one in 2004 and one in 2013.
Prosecutors, saying the new charges were "significantly more serious", had sought to have Weinstein forced to move to Manhattan and placed on house arrest.
"Are you really willing to roll the dice and hope and pray that your client will be able to answer questions under oath not only about this alleged third victim, but about other alleged victims as well?" the attorney told reporters outside the court.
Allegations detailed in Pulitzer Prize-winning stories last October in the New York Times and the New Yorker drove the #MeToo movement.
Haleyi said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 in what appeared to be a child's bedroom in his Manhattan apartment.
Since then, more than 40 women, including actresses Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe, who alleged he attacked her in a London hotel room in 2008.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing the third woman, talks to reporters after Weinstein left court Monday. In addition to the NY criminal proceedings, authorities in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and the United Kingdom are also pursuing potential criminal charges.
NY police said in early November that they were investigating allegations by another Weinstein accuser, the Boardwalk Empire actress Paz de la Huerta, who told them in October that he raped her twice in 2010.
"If you are a survivor of the predatory abuse with which Mr Weinstein is charged, there is still time to pursue justice", he said.
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly.
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