Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to rape charges

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Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to rape and sexual assault.

The Hollywood producer appeared in court in New York after he was charged last month with two counts of rape and one of a criminal sexual act for alleged incidents involving two separate women in 2004 and 2013.

Weinstein, 66, quietly answered a series of yes and no questions from the judge asking if he understood his rights at the hearing in Manhattan.

One alleged victim told investigators that Weinstein cornered her in a hotel room and raped her.

The other accuser, former actress Lucia Evans, who has waived her right to anonymity, alleges that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex at his office in 2004.

Weinstein turned himself in at a New York police station on 25 May and he was taken to court in handcuffs for his initial arraignment.

:: The women who have accused Weinstein

Weinstein entered not guilty pleas harvey weinstein pleads not guilty to rape charges Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty to rape charges skynews harvey weinstein metoo 4328719
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Weinstein entered not guilty pleas when he appeared at the hearing in Manhattan

A judge released Weinstein on $1 million cash bail on the condition that he surrender his US passport and agrees to wear a location-tracking device.

He was also ordered to remain in New York state or Connecticut.

Dozens of women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault, with the scandal sparking the #MeToo movement.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has challenged the credibility of his alleged victims and says his client is confident he is going to clear his name.

Mr Brafman called the rape allegation “absurd,” saying that the accuser and Weinstein had a consensual sexual relationship that continued after the alleged 2013 attack.

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Weinstein was fired as chief executive of the Weinstein Company after the allegations emerged last year, and his wife is in the process of divorcing him.

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