Weinstein pleads not guilty to NY rape charges

Harvey Weinstein cracked a smile as he walked into court before pleading not guilty to rape and criminal sex act charges.

The 66-year-old Weinstein was charged with rape and another sex crime in NY late last month, almost eight months after his career imploded in a blaze of accusations of sexual misconduct.

It comes after the former movie mogul was indicted by a grand jury last week on charges involving two women.

"We are going to file a series of legal motions that will get us more information and may impact the process, and if we are successful there may not be a trial - and if there is a trial, we will proceed expeditiously and vigorously to try and clear Mr Weinstein's name".

He is now out on a one million dollar (£751,060) bail, and must wear an electronic tracking device at all times.

"As bad a crime as rape is, it is equally reprehensible to be falsely accused", he said.

Shortly before Weinstein arrived, celebrity lawyer Gloria Allred strode into court, showing the signature determination that famous men accused of sexual misconduct have come to recognise all too well.

Evans tells how he spoke of a possible place in his show for aspiring models "Project Runway", before forcing her into oral sex, and then went about the day as if nothing had happened.

The charges against Weinstein mark the second high-profile prosecution of a once-powerful celebrity in the #MeToo era.

Mr Brafman called the rape allegation "absurd", saying that the accuser and Weinstein had a decade long, consensual sexual relationship that continued after the alleged 2013 attack.

After leaving a court in Manhattan, New York, on Tuesday, his lawyer, Ben Brafman, told reporters that the case was "imminently defensible" based on what they had learned about the evidence.

Once a fixture of elite Manhattan and Los Angeles society, Weinstein has been ostracised since the accusations became public. The device monitors his location 24 hours a day, and restricts him to only travel in NY state and CT.

If convicted on the most serious charges, Weinstein could be sentenced to prison for between five and 25 years.

Last week, three actresses filed a new lawsuit against Weinstein alleging sexual assault.

The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assaults unless they come forward publicly.

"Deceptive tactics were used to entice her to turn over her visual and audio evidence of Weinstein's conduct (which she did)", it said.

On Tuesday, Brafman indicated Weinstein is ready to proceed with a robust defense.

He's due back in court in September.

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