Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is now facing additional criminal charges that carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, the Manhattan District Attorney announced today.
Weinstein has been one of the most visible villains of the #MeToo movement, symbolizing the sexual harassment and abuse of women rampant in the entertainment industry after an exposé written by Ronan Farrow at The New Yorker detailed decades of alleged “aggressive overtures,” harassment, and assault by Weinstein — as well as a vindictive pattern of bullying and blackballing to silence anyone who denied him.
He was already facing charges stemming from allegations that he raped a woman at a Manhattan hotel in 2013, and had forced an aspiring actress named Lucia Evans to perform oral sex on him in 2o04. According to Page Six, Weinstein is currently out on $1 million bail, and has an ankle monitor to enforce an order that he is not allowed to leave New York or Connecticut.
These new charges relate to an alleged 2006 sexual assault of a woman, whose identity has not been disclosed. She testified before a Manhattan grand jury last Friday, and they returned the new indictments.
“A Manhattan grand jury has now indicted Harvey Weinstein on some of the most serious sexual offenses that exist under New York’s Penal Law,” said Manhattan DA Cy Vance in a press release. “This indictment is the result of the extraordinary courage exhibited by the survivors who have come forward.”
The new charges include two counts of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, a class B felony, and two counts of Predatory Sexual Assault, a class A-II felony with a minimum sentence of ten years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Weinstein was already facing up to twenty-five years in prison for the previous charges of one count of Rape in the First Degree and one count of Rape in the Third Degree.
In his statement, Vance noted that the charges were the result of months of investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, with assistance from the New York City Police Department. He thanked the survivors of Weinstein’s crimes who showed “extraordinary courage” in coming forward, and invited other survivors to join them.
“Our investigation continues,” said Vance. “If you are a survivor of the predatory abuse with which Mr. Weinstein is charged, there is still time to pursue justice. Please call us at 212-335-9373.”
Weinstein pled not guilty to the previous charges and is expected to do so for these new charges as well.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.