Film producer Harvey Weinstein indicted for rape, according to Manhattan prosecutor

NEW YORK, May 30 (Reuters) - Movie producer Harvey Weinstein has been indicted on charges of rape and a criminal sexual act, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement on Wednesday.

Weinstein's indictment by a grand jury follows his arrest and court appearance last Friday on charges related to two among the scores of women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, all of which he has denied.

Weinstein's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said at the time the disgraced producer intends to plead not guilty.

Earlier on Wednesday, Weinstein declined to testify before the grand jury after a judge denied a request by Brafman to postpone the appearance. Brafman had argued Weinstein was denied access to information about the case and lacked preparation time.

The grand jury indictment follows a months-long investigation with the New York Police Department. Police have not identified the two women, but said the crimes took place in 2004 and 2013.

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Vance's statement said Weinstein was charged by the grand jury with rape in the first and third degrees and a criminal sexual act in the first degree. If convicted on the most serious charges,Weinstein could face between five and 25 years in prison.

Weinstein, the 66-year-old co-founder of the Miramax film studio and the Weinstein Co, has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women, with some of the allegations dating back decades.

He has denied ever having nonconsensual sex.

The accusations, first reported last year by the New York Times and the New Yorker, gave rise to the #MeToo movement, in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, government and entertainment of sexual misconduct.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Writing by Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles; editing by Bill Tarrant and Grant McCool)

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