Life imprisonment for Harvey Weinstein? Manhattan DA announces three new charges against disgraced mogul
Harvey Weinstein's situation just got that much more complicated, with the new charges brought against the producer meaning he could face a life in prison.
Harvey Weinstein, who's already been facing two charges of assaults on two other women in 2014 and 2003, could now face life imprisonment after a Manhattan DA charged him with the third offense, alleged, to have taken place in 2006. The disgraced Hollywood mogul had turned himself into the New York police in May on charges of raping one woman and forcing another woman to perform oral sex on him.
It was the first criminal case to be brought against the 66-year-old and resulted in him being arraigned on three initial charges in June - Rape in the First and Third Degree and Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree. He had entered a plea of not guilty for the same.
The Miramax co-founder, who has been accused of sexual abuse by over 80 women, has now been charged with three additional felonies - Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree for a forcible sexual act against a woman in 2006, as well as two counts of Predatory Sexual Assault - ahead of his upcoming criminal trial, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office announced.
Speaking about the new charges, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus 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."
He continued: "His indictment is the result of the extraordinary courage exhibited by the survivors who have come forward. Our investigation continues. If you are a survivor of the predatory abuse with which Mr. Weinstein has been charged, there is still time to pursue justice. Please call us at 212-335-9373."
The recent charges are claimed to be graver.
The charge of Predatory Sexual Assault stems from the crimes of rape, criminal sexual act, and aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree that the producer allegedly committed on two separate occasions in New York. These could see him spend a minimum of 10 years behind bars if convicted; a maximum sentence will mean life in prison.
The first incident resulted in rape and assault, which he's accused of committing on July 10, 2006, while the second incident happened on March 18, 2013. For these, he was slapped with the Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, while the latter got him charged with Rape in the First and Third Degree.
Rape in the First Degree carries a minimum 5-year and maximum 25-year sentence while Rape in the Third Degree has no minimum decree but a maximum of four years behind bars.
Weinstein's lawyer Benjamin Brafman had hotly contested the 2013 incident in court, alleging that the woman who had come forward with the accusation of multiple rapes at a midtown hotel had, in fact, been in an affair with the producer. "This is an extraordinary case in my judgment where the only rape victim that Mr. Weinstein is accused of raping is someone with whom he has had a 10-year consensual sexual relationship - both before and after the alleged incident," he said.
The final charges of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree are reportedly related to an assault that he committed between the period from on or about June 1, 2004, to September 1, 2004, and may see him sentenced to a minimum of five and a maximum of 25 years in prison if found guilty.
Weinstein had previously negotiated a bail package that saw him put up $1 million in cash and give up his passport in exchange for freedom. He is currently said to be in the New York area but is being monitored by law enforcement through an ankle monitoring device that he has been made to wear as a part of his agreement for release.
Besides New York, he is also said to be under investigation for sex crimes he committed in Los Angeles and London.