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Harvey Weinstein Indicted Ahead of Upcoming Rape Trial

In New York, Weinstein has pled not guilty to two counts of rape and one count of criminal sexual acts, accusations dating back to 2004.

Harvey Weinstein and Benjamin BrafmanHarvey Weinstein arrested in New York, USA - 25 May 2018Harvey Weinstein (R) stands with his attorney Benjamin Brafman (R) during his arraignment in a criminal courtroom where he was formally charged with multiple counts of sexual assault in New York, New York, USA, 25 May 2018. Weinstein is with facing three felony charges - first-degree rape, third-degree rape, and one out of a criminal sexual act in the first degree.

Time’s Up on Harvey Weinstein

It was an open secret, party chatter, the sort of thing everyone in the industry had heard rumors of but did little — or, more honestly, more plainly, nothing — to stop. When now-Pulitzer Prize winners Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s first New York Times expose dropped on an otherwise unremarkable day in October 2017, it shook Hollywood to its core. Five days later, Ronan Farrow (who shares the Pulitzer with his NYT counterparts) released his own story over at The New Yorker.

Even at the time, the impact felt instantaneous, massive, zeitgeist-altering. It wasn’t just Weinstein who was taken down — removed from his already-ailing The Weinstein Company, which was then sold off, its still-gestating projects languishing or pushed over to other distributors, the one-time mega-producer is also the subject of numerous police investigations and criminal suits — but a slew of other heavy-hitting big names were soon the subject of their own exposes.

The response in Hollywood, especially amongst the industry’s most empowered women, was just as seismic: within days of the first Weinstein stories, the hashtag #MeToo had been retrofitted for usage specific to women who had been abused by entertainment elite, before circling back to founder Tarana Burke’s original intention to shine a light on all stories of sexual abuse. Other outspoken talents created the Time’s Up campaign to sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplac, first for Hollywood and then for other industries. 

The effects have continued to fan out across the industry, from more stories of abuse and assault, the felling of scores of accused offenders, a shift in the way people talk about women in the workplace, and the sense that things might actually, finally be changing. And yet, Weinstein (and many other accused perpetrators) have yet to face legal consequences. The other institutional changes have been profound, but is that all victims can look forward to? And is the rejection by Hollywood enough punishment for those that deserve it? And is it even one that can stick? The jury is still out.—KE

Steven Hirsch/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Five days after being arraigned and posting $1 million bail, Harvey Weinstein was indicted Wednesday by a Manhattan grand jury, Variety reports. The former Miramax and Weinstein Company co-chairman now formally faces two rape charges — one first-degree, one third-degree — plus one charge for criminal sexual acts. If found guilty, the 66-year-old could earn up to 25 years imprisonment.

New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement, “This indictment brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged. Our office will try this case not in the press, but in the courtroom where it belongs. The defendant’s recent assault on the integrity of the survivors and the legal process is predictable. We are confident that when the jury hears the evidence, it will reject these attacks out of hand.”

The alleged victims in this case are Lucia Evans, who told The New Yorker that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him at Miramax’s offices in 2004, and an unidentified woman, who claims she was raped by the Oscar-winning producer at the DoubleTree Metropolitan Hotel on March 18, 2013.

Weinstein is also being investigated by police in Los Angeles and London. Since early October, more than 100 women have accused him of improper behavior. Actresses Asia Argento, Rose McGowan, and Paz de la Huerta are among those who say Weinstein raped them; they all issued public statements reacting to his surrender to the NYPD on May 25. Weinstein’s legal troubles also include a sexual harassment and defamation lawsuit from Ashley Judd, filed last month.

Weinstein’s next hearing will take place on July 30. Read IndieWire’s firsthand account of his arraignment here.

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