Weinstein pleads not guilty to rape as lawyer vows to fight


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NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to rape and criminal sex act charges in a brief hearing today before a judge in New York, and his lawyer vowed afterward to try to beat the case even before it goes to trial.

Weinstein limped from an SUV and was escorted past a big crowd of journalists before spending a few minutes answering a series of yes and no questions from the judge asking if he understood his rights.

He didn't stop to speak with journalists or respond to shouted questions and was back in his waiting SUV in just 40 minutes. His attorney, Ben Brafman, told reporters the case was "eminently defensible" based on what they have learned about the evidence.

"I think today is the first day of this process. We begin our fight now," he said, adding that his defense would include trying to get prosecutors to drop the case. "If we are successful, there may not be a trial."

A grand jury indicted Weinstein last week on charges involving two women.

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