Harvey grins as he's charged with rape
MOVIE mogul Weinstein has been hauled before a Manhattan judge to face felony charges of rape and criminal sex act against two women.
The accused serial sexual predator was cuffed from behind and showed no emotion during the proceeding in Manhattan Criminal Court, which was packed with media, The New York Post reported.
"Your honour, the defendant is before the court charged with two violent B felonies for two separate violent sexual assaults against two women," said top Manhattan prosecutor Joan Illuzzi.
"The charges here today are the result of months of investigations. The defendant used his position, money and power into positions where he was able to violate them sexually. We encourage others to come forward."
Weinstein, 66, did not enter a plea. That's common at this stage in a criminal case in New York.
Judge Kevin McGrath issued a temporary order of protection for one of his accusers, but her name was placed under seal.
Weinstein, a twice married father of five, is accused of forcing then-aspiring actress Lucia Evans to perform oral sex in 2004 and raping a second unknown woman on March 18, 2013, at the DoubleTree hotel on Lexington Avenue in Midtown.
The fallen film producer's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told the judge the defence had handed over a check for $US1 million for Weinstein to be released on bail.
"We obviously did not come here to try the case," Mr Brafman said.
"Mr Weinstein and his counsel have been aware of this investigation for many months.
"Mr Weinstein voluntarily surrendered after conditions of bail were negotiated."
As part of the conditions of his release, Weinstein turned over his passport and will undergo GPS monitoring.
He can only travel in New York state and Connecticut - and will have to seek approval from prosecutors to travel elsewhere.
Weinstein left court in the back of a grey Toyota 4Runner. Before hopping in, he talked to his lawyer, looking grim.
He kept his head down and didn't respond to reporters who shouted, "Are you guilty?" "What do you have to say?" and "Do you have anything to say to the women?".
His next court appearance is July 30, when will likely learn if he's been indicted.
Weinstein, who is also being investigated in Los Angeles and London, also waived extradition to any other state or country.
London's Metropolitan Police have said they are investigating an allegation of sexual assault against Weinstein, while prosecutors in Los Angeles said in February they were reviewing three accusations of sexual assault against him.
Weinstein had earlier surrendered himself to authorities at a New York City police station, months after he was toppled from Hollywood's most powerful ranks by scores of women accusing him of misconduct.
The former powerhouse movie producer smiled for cameras as he was handcuffed and escorted from New York Police Department's First Precinct to a courthouse this morning.
Weinstein initially was arrested on charges of rape, criminal sex act, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct.
But prosecutors only charged him with rape and criminal sex act.
"Mr Weinstein has always maintained that any sexual activity he engaged in was consensual," Mr Brafman told reporters outside of court.
"He has vehemently denied any of the allegations suggesting he engaged in non-consensual sexual activity."
Actress Rose McGowan, among the first in Hollywood to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, said in a statement on Thursday that his alleged victims were now "one step closer to justice".
This story was originally published by The New York Post and has been republished here with permission.