Former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein entered pleas of not guilty today in a New York courtroom to charges of rape and criminal sex act, and his lawyer indicated that the defense will try to halt the prosecution’s case even before it goes to trial.
“Weinstein limped from an SUV and was escorted past a big crowd of journalists before spending a few minutes answering a series of yes and no questions from the judge asking if he understood his rights. A pair of court officers stood directly behind him throughout the brief hearing,” the AP reports, noting that Weinstein was back in his waiting SUV in just 40 minutes.
After the proceedings, Weinstein’s attorney Ben Brafman told reporters the case is “eminently defensible,” adding: “I think today is the first day of this process. We begin our fight now. If we are successful, there may not be a trial.”
Weinstein was indicted by a grand jury last week on charges involving two women, the report notes.
“One of the alleged victims in the criminal case, who has not been identified publicly, told investigators that Weinstein cornered her in a hotel room and raped her,” the AP reports. “The other accuser, former actress Lucia Evans, has gone public with her account of Weinstein forcing her to perform oral sex at his office in 2004.”