• Harvey Weinstein Arrested on Rape, Sex Crime Charges

    Disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to New York City police this morning, and was arraigned on a criminal complaint containing two charges of rape and another charge of criminal sex. After a processing and a quick hearing, Weinstein was released after posting $1 million bail.

    Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct and assault by a multitude of women, and prosecutors told the judge that the investigation was ongoing. Weinstein's attorney maintained that his client is innocent.

    The Producer's Procedural Process

    Because Weinstein turned himself in based on a criminal complaint rather than a formal indictment, he was not required to enter a plea during his arraignment. Still, his attorney, Benjamin Brafman, informed the court that, if indicted, Weinstein would plead not guilty, and Brafman would "move quickly" to dismiss the charges, which he described as "constitutionally flawed and factually unsubstantiated."

    Lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi stressed that the investigation into Weinstein is continuing and requested a protection order regarding one of Weinstein's accusers. Weinstein may or may not testify in front of a grand jury that is currently investigating his case.

    Sex Assault Statutory Specifics

    The three charges against him included first-degree rape and third-degree rape in one case involving an unnamed victim. The Manhattan district attorney's office said the alleged incident occurred in 2013 and the charges resulted from "months of investigation."

    Under New York's rape laws, first degree rape is defined as: sexual intercourse with another person:

    1. By forcible compulsion; or
    2. Who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless; or
    3. Who is less than eleven years old; or
    4. Who is less than thirteen years old and the actor is eighteen years old or more.

    Meanwhile, rape in the third degree occurs when a person:

    1. Engages in sexual intercourse with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than seventeen years old;
    2. Is 21 years old or more, and engages in sexual intercourse with another person less than 17 years old; or
    3. Engages in sexual intercourse with another person without such person's consent where such lack of consent is by reason of some factor other than incapacity to consent.

    The criminal sex act charge stems from an alleged encounter with Lucia Evans in 2004, who claims Weinstein lured her to his Miramax office in TriBeCa with promises of a casting meeting, then forced her to perform oral sex on him. That statute defines a criminal sexual act in the first degree as when a person engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person:

    1. By forcible compulsion; or
    2. Who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless; or
    3. Who is less than eleven years old; or
    4. Who is less than thirteen years old and the actor is eighteen years old or more.

    Next up for Weinstein is a possible indictment, based on the grand jury's investigation. But a legal resolution to the criminal charges against Weinstein (whether by plea deal or trial) likely won't happen any time soon.

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