Handcuffed Weinstein faces rape charge
NEW YORK — It was the moment the #MeToo movement had been waiting for: Harvey Weinstein in handcuffs.
His face pulled in a strained smile and his hands locked behind his back, the once-powerful Hollywood figure emerged from a police station Friday facing rape and criminal sex act charges, a searing reckoning for the man who became a symbol of a worldwide outcry over sexual misconduct.
“This defendant used his position, money and power to lure young women into situations where he was able to violate them sexually,” Manhattan Assistant Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said later, in words that brought raised eyebrows from the otherwise stony-faced Weinstein.
The charges stem from encounters with two of the dozens of women — some famous, some not — who have accused him of sexual misdeeds. The rape charge involves a woman who has not come forward publicly; the other is a onetime aspiring actress who was among his first accusers.
Weinstein consistently has denied allegations of nonconsensual sex.
His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said Friday he would fight to get the charges dismissed.
And he began to take aim at the accusations and accusers, noting the alleged attacks weren’t reported to police when they happened and suggesting potential jurors wouldn’t believe the women.
“Assuming,” he added, “we get 12 fair people who are not consumed by the movement that seems to have overtaken this case.”
Asked about the raft of other allegations against Weinstein,
Brafman said the case was a question of crime, not bad behavior.