Prosecutors in the UK have authorised the Metropolitan Police to charge the disgraced Hollywood movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein, with two counts of indecent assault dating back to August 1996.
Police began investigating the film producer in 2017 after a number of women came forward in the United States and the UK to make a series of sex abuse allegations against him.
Scotland Yard later confirmed it was investigating Weinstein in connection with complaints lodged in Britain from seven women.
Weinstein was charged with rape in New York in May 2018 and was convicted in February 2020.
He was later sentenced to 23 years in prison and is not eligible for release until 2039, when he will be 87 years old.
The Crown Prosecution Service has now confirmed that after a review of the Met’s investigation it has determined there is enough evidence to charge him in Britain with two counts of indecent assault.
The alleged assaults are said to have taken place in London in August 1996 and involve one complainant.
In a statement, Rosemary Ainslie, Head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “The CPS has authorised the Metropolitan Police to charge Harvey Weinstein with two counts of indecent assault against a woman in August 1996.
“Charges have been authorised against Harvey Weinstein, 70, following a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation.
“The Crown Prosecution Service reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against the defendant are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.”
The statement went on: “The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for a criminal court to consider.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Detectives have been authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service to charge Harvey Weinstein, aged 70, with two counts of indecent assault against one woman in August 1996.
“The CPS’ charging decision follows a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation.
“The Met Police has updated all those whose allegations formed part of this investigation.”
Weinstein and brother Bob Weinstein founded Miramax in 1979 and sold it to Disney in 1993.
They continued to work for the firm until 2005 when they set up the Weinstein Company, which spawned hits including The King’s Speech, Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook.
Weinstein was one of Hollywood’s most powerful figures until he became the subject of a string of sexual abuse claims.
In 2004 he was made an honorary CBE for his contribution to the British film industry.