Harvey Weinstein was indicted Wednesday on rape and criminal sex act charges, furthering the first criminal case to arise from a slate of sexual misconduct allegations against the former movie mogul. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said the indictment brings Weinstein "another step closer to accountability." The announcement came hours after Weinstein's lawyers said he'd decline to testify before the grand jury because there wasn't enough time to prepare him. The 66-year-old film producer, who has denied the allegations, learned of the specific charges and the accusers' identities only after turning himself in Friday, per a statement from a rep for Weinstein. With a deadline set for Wednesday afternoon to testify or not, his request for more time was denied, the statement said, per the AP.
"Finally, Mr. Weinstein's attorneys noted that ... an indictment was inevitable due to the unfair political pressure being placed on Cy Vance to secure a conviction of Mr. Weinstein," the statement added. "We are confident that when the jury hears the evidence, it will reject these attacks out of hand," Vance countered. Weinstein's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, called the rape allegation "absurd," saying that the unidentified accuser and Weinstein had a decade-long, consensual sexual relationship that began before and continued after the alleged 2013 attack in a hotel room. The other accuser in the case, former actress Lucia Evans, has gone public with her account of Weinstein forcing her to perform oral sex at his office in 2004. The AP separately reports Brafman says he'll ask a court to dismiss the indictment.
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