Weinstein to surrender to NYPD on charges of sexual misconduct: reports

Former film producer is expected to turn himself in Friday, according to multiple reports that cite law enforcement officials

The Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to authorities on charges of sexual misconduct on Friday, according to multiple reports.

More than 70 women have accused Weinstein, co-founder of Miramax studio and the Weinstein Company, of sexual harassment and assault, including rape.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

The office of attorney Benjamin Brafman, who is representing Weinstein, said on Thursday afternoon that he was not commenting on reports of Weinstein’s surrender.

Weinstein will be charged in connection with allegations made by Lucia Evans, who said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004, according to reports on Thursday.

It was not clear if charges would be brought for any of the other accusations made against him because of the statute of limitations, which does not apply in Evans’s case.

In October 2017, dozens of women went public with allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein that spanned three decades. That prompted an extraordinary cascade of similar accusations of sexual misconduct against powerful men in politics, the media and other industries, spurring the #MeToo movement.

The actor Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein’s accusers, said: “I, and so many of Harvey Weinstein’s survivors, had given up hope that our rapist would be held accountable by law. Twenty years ago, I swore that I would right this wrong. Today we are one step closer to justice.”

Asia Argento, who has accused Weinstein of rape, on Thursday shared an article announcing Weinstein’s planned surrender, writing: “BOOM” with an explosion emoji.

Police in New York City and London have been investigating sexual abuse allegations made against Weinstein.

New York City’s chief of detectives, Robert Boyce, said in March that police had gathered considerable evidence in the investigation, but the district attorney, Cyrus Vance Jr, would decide whether, and when, the disgraced film producer gets indicted.

Boyce said investigators had worked diligently with women who alleged Weinstein raped them and had travelled to Paris and Los Angeles to interview some of the accusers.

He continued to say witnesses were prepared to testify before a grand jury, which would determine whether Weinstein is indicted. “We’ve accumulated quite a bit of evidence,” Boyce said in March.

In 2015, New York police investigated Weinstein after an Italian model accused Weinstein of groping her, but authorities did not file criminal charges. The model, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, had secretly recorded Weinstein apologizing for his conduct as part of a police sting operation but the district attorney said there was not enough evidence to bring a case.

Anonymous sources told newspapers a grand jury had for weeks heard evidence connected to allegations made by Evans, who in an October 2017 New Yorker article accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex during a daytime meeting.

“I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,’ “ she told the magazine. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him.”

She told the New Yorker she did not report the incident to police at the time because she felt responsible for not fighting back. “It was always my fault for not stopping him,” Evans said.

Weinstein, normally a fixture at major awards shows and film festivals, has avoided public appearances since the allegations went public.

Meanwhile, many of his accusers joined with other women in Hollywood to form the activist group Time’s Up.

The group, which has partnered with advocacy groups in other industries, is working to combat systemic harassment and assault in the workplace and has staged demonstrations at the Cannes Film Festival, the Academy Awards and the British Academy Film Awards.


Amanda Holpuch in New York and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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