Harvey Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to the rape and criminal sex act charges that were filed against him last month.

The disgraced producer appeared in front of a judge in New York City for a brief hearing on Tuesday, where he entered his plea to charges of first- and third-degree rape, and committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree. The charges were filed in connection with two incidents, one in 2004 and one in 2013, in which prosecutors say Weinstein forced one woman to perform oral sex, and raped another.

The former Hollywood power player has been accused by dozens more women of offenses ranging from sexual harassment to sexual abuse and assault, over the course of several decades. Allegations against Weinstein, which were whispered about for years, were finally made public in a series of exposes published by The New York Times and The New Yorker last fall, in which actresses such as Ashley Judd, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Angelina Jolie all accused the producer of impropriety.

Speaking to reporters after Weinstein's court appearance on Tuesday, defense attorney Benjam Brafman said the case against his client was "imminently defensible," and Brafman seemed confident that he could win at trial -- or perhaps even prevent legal proceedings from continuing entirely.

"I think today is the first day of this process. We begin our fight now," the attorney said. "If we are successful, there may not be a trial."

Weinstein has maintained his innocence all along, stating through his representatives that all his sexual encounters were consensual. He is currently under criminal investigation in several other jurisdictions, both domestically and internationally, including in Los Angeles and London.

If convicted charges, Weinstein faces up to 25 years in prison. He currently remains free on $1 million bail, and must wear a GPS monitoring device.

[via: The Hollywood Reporter/Associated Press]

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