Harvey Weinstein indicted on rape charges


(JTA) — Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was indicted by a grand jury in New York on charges of rape and a criminal sexual act.

Weinstein declined to testify before the grand jury on Wednesday after a judge denied his attorney’s request to postpone the appearance in order to have time to prepare Weinstein. The grand jury announced its indictment later in the day.

Weinstein only learned of the specific charges after turning himself in on Friday.

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

The charges follow an avalanche of accusations against him that following their publication in October led women around the world, some famous and many who are not, to come forward with accounts of being sexually harassed and assaulted by powerful men.

Weinstein has denied engaging in nonconsensual sex.

Weinstein is suing to obtain documents and files belonging to The Weinstein Co. – a firm he helped establish but which dismissed him in October following the accounts of his alleged sexual exploitation of women. He said the information in the papers will help clear his name.

Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has said his client intends to plead innocent.

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