Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

NY prosecutor drops part of sex assault case against Harvey Weinstein

NY prosecutor drops part of sex assault case against Harvey Weinstein Harvey Weinstein arrives at the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan
Charles Bowen | 11 October, 2018, 19:57

A NY judge on Thursday dismissed one of the six criminal charges against movie producer Harvey Weinstein after prosecutors said they could not oppose the dismissal in light of information they had learned while investigating the case.

Weinstein appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday morning as Judge James Burke chose to dismiss count six of the eight-count indictment against the 66-year-old film producer.

The former Miramax boss faces up to life in prison on charges of rape, predatory sex assault and criminal sex acts for the alleged attack on Evans and two other women. She said she had initially met Weinstein at a restaurant in Manhattan earlier that summer.

Goldberg added that despite District Attorney Cy Vance not opposing the motion to dismiss the charge against Weinstein, her client's claims remain and this "does speak to a system desperate in need of reform".

Weinstein's legal team argued in court papers that prosecutors hadn't properly identified the day on which Evans alleged she had been assaulted.

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon told the judge that prosecutors would not oppose dismissal of the count in the case involving Evans.

"Let me be clear: the decision to throw away my client's sexual assault charges says nothing about Weinstein's guilt or innocence".

Weinstein's lawyer, Ben Brafman, has said in court filings that prosecutors withheld evidence that would have made the grand jury think twice about charging him, such as friendly emails one accuser sent after the alleged rape. He also said he believed a police detective had corruptly attempted to influence the case by keeping a witness from testifying about her misstatements.

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"The integrity of these proceedings has been compromised", Mr Brafman said.

Speaking outside court later, Brafman said Evans should be criminally prosecuted for perjury, insisting it was "not about victim shaming".

Weinstein had previously pleaded not guilty to the six sex crimes he's been charged with in NY, including two counts of rape.

According to the letter, the detective told the witness she had no obligation to cooperate with prosecutors and "less is more".

The accusations led to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women publicly accuse powerful men in business, politics and entertainment of sexual harassment and abuse. "The evidence shows that the criminal case against him is strong".

In the months after The New York Times and The New Yorker began publishing stories about Weinstein's interactions with women, activists pressured Vance to bring charges as dozens of people came forward with claims of sexual misconduct against him.

New York Police officials poured on the pressure, too, saying publicly that they believed they had gathered ample evidence to make an arrest.

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