On Wednesday, Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein was indicted on charges of rape and a criminal sexual act. This is the first case to emerge from a slew of sexual misconduct allegations against him. Said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance in a statement, “This indictment brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged.”
The 66-year-old co-founder of the Miramax film studio and the Weinstein Co. was arrested and appeared in court last Friday on charges related to two among about 70 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, all of which Weinstein has denied. If found guilty, the Oscar-winning producer could find himself behind bars for up to 25 years.
The indictment follows an investigation conducted over several months with the New York Police Department. Some of the allegations date back decades. The accusations against Weinstein, which had been first reported last year by the New York Times and the New Yorker, sparked off the #MeToo movement, in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of sexual misconduct. Among the actors who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct are Uma Thurman, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Salma Hayek.
Weinstein has denied ever having non-consensual sex.