American film producer Harvey Weinstein has surrendered to police on sex crime charges. His action comes seven months after women began publicly accusing him of sex abuse.
He turned himself in Friday at a New York City police station.
More than 75 women have accused Weinstein of sexual wrongdoing. The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine were the first to report the accusations.
The reports gave rise to the #MeToo movement on social media. Women and a few men have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of unwanted sexual behavior or sexual abuse.
Weinstein faces rape and criminal sex act charges. If found guilty, he could receive a sentence of between 5 and 25 years in prison.
Weinstein has denied all accusations of unwanted sex.
Lawyers did not identify the woman involved in the rape charge. Court documents say Weinstein trapped the woman and raped her in a New York City hotel room in 2013.
The criminal sex act charge relates to a 2004 meeting between Weinstein and Lucia Evans, who was a new, young actor at the time. She was among the first women to publicly accuse Weinstein of abuse.
Evans told The New Yorker magazine in October that Weinstein forced her to perform a sexual act on him during a meeting at his office in New York City.
The charges might not be the only ones Weinstein faces.
New York City police have also been investigating reports from actor Paz de la Huerta of similar abuse. She told police last year that Weinstein raped her twice in 2010.
Police in California and London are also investigating Weinstein for possible wrongdoing.
Weinstein was released later on Friday on a $1 million bond. Officials have ordered him to wear a tracking device and remain in New York or Connecticut.
He has until May 30 to decide whether to speak before a grand jury. It was unclear whether prosecutors would seek to have other Weinstein accusers testify against him in court.
Media surrounded the 66-year-old Weinstein outside the courthouse Friday. One reporter shouted “You sorry, Harvey?” When another asked him, “What can you say?” Weinstein shook his head and softly said, “No.”
Until the public accusations, Weinstein was among the most influential people in the American film industry.
Miramax, the company he founded with his brother, Bob, helped reinvent independent film, with hits like “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love.”
Their later business, Weinstein Co., released Oscar winners like “The Artist” and “The King’s Speech.”
I’m Ashley Thompson.
Ashley Thompson adapted this article based on reports by Reuters and the Associated Press. Caty Weaver was the editor.
Words in This Story
prosecutor - n. a lawyer who represents the side in a court case that accuses a person of a crime and who tries to prove that the person is guilty
hit - n. something that is very successful