On Friday 25 May, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was charged [VIDEO] in New York with first and third-degree rape and committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree. He turned himself in seven months after women came out and started to tell their stories regarding his non-consensual sexual behavior.

His charges stemmed from two women, of which one of them is identified as the former actress Lucia Evans, who caused an investigation to start, uncovering more stories than initially thought. Many women in Hollywood came out to tell their stories, creating a long list of names which include Gwyneth Paltrow, Selma Hayek, Angelina Jolie and Cara Delevingne.

'He didn't invent the 'casting couch'

CNN reported that Weinstein's attorney said that Harvey "did not invent the 'casting couch' in Hollywood" and that his "bad behavior was not on trial in this case.” Weinstein and his lawyers deny any non-consensual sexual act claims. His attorney said "Nothing about today's proceedings changes Mr. Weinstein's position. He has entered a plea of Not Guilty and fully expects to be exonerated."

CNN noted that during his short court appearance, Mr. Weintein stayed silent, accepting all the conditions he was given. Weinstein was released later same day under the conditions of paying $1m, giving up his passport, wearing an electronic monitoring device 24/7 and only travelling in New York and Connecticut.

His attorney, Mr Brafman, stated that his client was pleading not guilty. It was also stated that by Wednesday 30 May, Mr Weinstein is going to decide if he will testify in front of the grand jury.

#MeToo

The BBC Canada reported that the accusations regarding Harvey Weinstein started the #MeToo movement across the world as women from different ages and backgrounds started to share their sexual abuse stories. The people who came out to tell their stories about how Weinstein sexually abused them included both women of fame and not, encouraging all of the victims to talk about their experiences and how it made them feel. Thanks to the #MeToo movement, a change for better started to happen. The concept of consent rose among the crowd and the ground owned by powerful sexual predators started to change.

Such cases going into court are an interesting perspective on the statutes of limitations. The US may have to look into extending the period of time that may lapse between the offence and the date it is reported for investgation