The Manhattan district attorney's office and NY police have investigated Weinstein for months, coming under growing pressure in recent months from the Time's up movement for the fallen producer to be brought to justice. He kept his gaze lowered while shuffled past a barrage of shouted questions.
Rose McGowan, who was among the first actresses to accuse Weinstein of sexual assault, said his victims were "one step closer to justice". Prosecutors in the office of the Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance conducted dozens of interviews in NY and elsewhere and issued hundreds of subpoenas, and their inquiry is not over. The charges stem from two different woman, including actress Lucia Evans, who alleges that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him back in 2004.
Evans told The New Yorker in a story published in October that she repeatedly told Weinstein to stop but "didn't want to kick him or fight him". "Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in non-consensual sexual behavior with anyone".
As women opened up about Weinstein's history of sexually abusing and assaulting them, women from across the world come forward with their own accounts of being sexually harassed and assaulted by powerful men, triggering the global #MeToo movement.
According to variety.com, the Manhattan District Attorney's office is expected to charge Weinstein with at least one case. "I thank the courageous survivors who have come forward, and my office's prosecutors who have worked tirelessly on this investigation".
"He forced me to perform oral sex on him", she said.
NY police previously confirmed another credible rape allegation after "Boardwalk Empire" actress Paz de la Huerta accused the former producer of raping her twice at her NY apartment in late 2010. McGowan has been arguably the most vocal of Weinstein's alleged victims; she has publicly accused him of rape.
The two officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the investigation. His attorney told reporters outside court that Weinstein meant to plead not guilty to all four charges announced Friday. His travel will be restricted and he will surrender his passport. In another case, involving a woman who has not been named, Weinstein faces charges that include first-degree rape. McGowan was one of Weinstein's earliest accusers.
Federal prosecutors have also started an investigation into the sexual-abuse allegations, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
Sexual assault cases, particularly those that allegedly happened years ago, are notoriously hard to prosecute particularly as there is often little to no forensic evidence.
London's Metropolitan Police have said they are also investigating an allegation of sexual assault against Weinstein, while prosecutors in Los Angeles said in February they were reviewing three accusations of sexual assault against him.