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After setting the internet ablaze by turning himself in to the NYPD, Harvey Weinstein posted a $1 million bail, was fitted with an ankle monitor, and released. Weinstein faces criminal charges of rape, sex abuse and related crimes in New York.
In the state case, two women allege he forced them into sex acts with him in 2013 and 2004. The case does not include allegations by scores of other women, including actresses Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Federal and local investigators are looking into other charges, but the Manhattan District Attorney's Office is the first to file. In many ways, it's about time.
More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. It was Hollywood's dirty secret for decades, until Rose McGowan and others decided to tear up non-disclosure agreements and tell their stories.
Many possible cases dropped by the wayside, however, due to statutes of limitations or other problems. Weinstein lawyers had been trying to keep prosecutors away, but they ran out of time in Manhattan.
Weinstein could face five to 25 years in prison if convicted. After the arraignment, his attorney said they will "move very quickly" to dismiss the charges.
According to reports, however, more charges are expected as a grand jury considers testimony from other alleged victims.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance had been under pressure to file after he previously decided not to prosecute Weinstein. In 2015, police had wired an Italian model to record a conversation in which Weinstein apparently apologized to her.
When Vance declined to file with that evidence, Gov. Mario Cuomo weighed in. He asked the state attorney general to investigate the district attorney's handling of the case.
Benjamin Brafman, Weinstein's criminal lawyer in New York, has pressures of his own. The New Yorker called him the "last of the big-time defense attorneys."
In his last high-profile case defending Martin Shkreli, however, he lost.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.