Harvey Weinstein arrested on rape and sex abuse charges by New York police | Americas| North and South American news impacting on Europe | DW | 25.05.2018
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Harvey Weinstein arrested on rape and sex abuse charges by New York police

Over 75 women have accused the former Hollywood producer of sexual misconduct and rape, some allegations dating back decades. Now Harvey Weinstein has been arrested by New York police on rape and sex abuse charges.

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Nearly eight months after reports of sexual abuse allegations surfaced against the ex-film producer, Harvey Weinstein surrendered to authorities at a New York Police station on Friday and was charged with rape and other sex crimes involving two women.

The wave of assault accusations against Weinstein triggered a global #MeToo movement with people working in several industries coming forward with stories of sexual harassment, assault and rape against well-known figures.

What we know so far:

  • Weinstein was arrested on charges including rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct involving two women, New York Police said.
  • He was released after three hours on $1 million (€857,000) bail in cash, surrendering his passport and wearing a monitoring device as part of a previously negotiated bail package.
  • Weinstein showed up at the station house shortly before 7:30 a.m. (1130 UTC) to turn himself in to police, carrying three books under his arm.
  • He was escorted inside by police officers as scores of journalists pressed to get pictures while three helicopters flew overhead.
  • He left through a courthouse back door less than three hours after his arrest.
     
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Dozens of allegations: Over 75 women around the globe — including actors Angelina Jolie, Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd,  have accused Weinstein of abuse ranging from sexual harassment to rape. Many of the cases have passed the statute of limitations and can no longer be prosecuted.

#MeToo movement: Accusations against Weinstein were reported on October 5 last year by the New York Times and the New Yorker. The reports about Weinstein's misconduct helped give rise to the #MeToo movement of survivors publicly coming forward with stories of sexual harassment and assault in business, politics, media, sports and entertainment.

Disgraced mogul: Weinstein has repeatedly denied accusations of non-consensual sex. Powerful players in the entertainment industry have distanced themselves from him after the accusations became public. The board of his production company, The Weinstein Co., fired him and later filed for bankruptcy in March. Legal documents filed this year showed that employees at The Weinstein Co. were told to prepare rooms for his sexual encounters and clean them up afterwards.

What happens next: Weintein was released on $1 million bail with constant electronic moniotring and a ban on traveling beyond New York and Connecticut. His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said he would fight to get the charges dismissed. Weinstein is also being investigated by police in Los Angeles and London on criminal sex charges.

Brafman said Weinstein "did not invent the casting couch in Hollywood, and to the extent that there is bad behavior in that industry, that is not what this is about." He has until Wednesday to decide whether to testify before a grand
jury.

rs/jm (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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