Weinstein pleads not guilty to fresh sexual assault charges

Weinstein pleads not guilty to fresh sexual assault charges
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Washington: Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to fresh charges of sexual assault as the prosecutors wished to subject him to house arrest as his criminal case plays out.

As reported by Page Six, Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi argued that Weinstein should be subjected to house arrest because of the seriousness of the potential prison sentence.

However, Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman stated that house arrest wasn’t required, as he has already surrendered his passport and is wearing a location-monitoring ankle bracelet.

This comes a week after he was indicted on three additional felony sex charges, two of which carry the potential of a life sentence.

Last month, Weinstein had appeared in a Manhattan court to enter his plea.

When asked how he pleaded to first-degree criminal sexual act and other charges against him, Weinstein replied, “Not guilty.”

It was Weinstein’s first court appearance since his May 25 arrest on charges that he sexually assaulted two women in New York.

Weinstein’s not-guilty plea was expected as he has always denied he forced any of the dozens of women who have accused him of sexual misconduct to have sex with him.

More than 80 women, including the actresses Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashley Judd, and Rose McGowan have come forward with similar stories about Weinstein. Some accused him of using physical force to compel them to have sex. Others said he tried to barter parts in movies for sex or threatened to ruin their careers if they did not comply.

Despite investigations in London, Los Angeles, and New York, none of the matters ever lead to a criminal prosecution, until two weeks ago, when the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr, became the first prosecutor to say he had enough evidence to arrest Weinstein.

—ANI