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Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein indicted for first and third degree rape

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WASHINGTON (Circa) -- A grand jury in Manhattan has indicted Harvey Weinstein on charges of first and third degree rape as well as first degree criminal sexual act.

Last week, Weinstein surrendered to police to face sexual abuse allegations. He was arraigned and released on $1 million bail.

The charges were related to allegations made by Lucia Evans. She says Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004. The incident happened in his office after he promised her potential movie roles.

“I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,’” Evans told The New Yorker in an expose on Weinstein that was released in 2017. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him.....he’s a big guy. He overpowered me.”

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The NYPD also said in March that there was considerable evidence against Weinstein in relation to an incident involving actress Paz de la Huerta. She alleges the movie director raped her twice in 2010.

Weinstein's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, spoke out on Friday and said his client would be exonerated.

"We intend to move very quickly to dismiss these charges. We believe they are constitutionally flawed," Brafman said. "We believe they are not factually supported by the evidence and we believe that at the end of the process Mr. Weinstein will be exonerated."

In a statement, Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance said "the indictment brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged."

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"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," Vance said. "We are confident that when the jury hears the evidence, it will reject these attacks out of hand."

Weinstein attorney: He'll be exonerated

Vance also thanked the "heroic survivors for their strength throughout this process."

A spokesperson for Weinstein says in a statement to The Associated Press that Weinstein learned about the specific charges against him after turning himself in to police.

"Finally, Mr. Weinstein's attorneys noted that regardless of how compelling Mr. Weinstein's personal testimony might be, an indictment was inevitable due to the unfair political pressure being placed on Cy Vance to secure a conviction of Mr. Weinstein," the statement said in reference to Vance.

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The movie mogul's lawyer says Weinstein plans to enter a plea of not guilty to "vigorously defend against these unsupported allegations that he strongly denies." Brafman continued on saying he wanted to remind everyone that "an Indictment is merely a formal accusation."

Weinstein stepped out of the public eye after allegations against him were made. He attended a sex rehab in Arizona which costed $36,000 a month - the same facility Kevin Spacey went to seek treatment of his own. In January, Weinstein was attacked at a restaurant near the rehab center while eating dinner with his sober coach.

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