Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Manhattan DA drops part of Weinstein case

Weinstein wins dismissal of criminal charge for alleged sex assault Harvey Weinstein sees one of six counts against him dismissed in Manhattan court
Adrian Cunningham | 11 October, 2018, 19:59

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.

Harvey Weinstein appeared without handcuffs in New York Supreme Court this morning and even flashed a faint smile, a big change from his previous sober and shackled appearances in his sexual assault trial.

In addition to the three allegations in this case, Weinstein has faced accusations of sexual harassment and assault from dozens of actresses, including Rose McGowan, Salma Hayek, Annabella Sciorra, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Ms Evans has told U.S. media that Mr Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004.

Weinstein says he is innocent.

Weinstein's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said he would seek dismissal of the remaining charges as well.

People ask why survivors of sexual assault don't come forward in the criminal system - this is why. "Nor does it reflect on Lucia's consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein", said attorney Carrie Goldberg.

Predicting the judge may throw out all of the allegations, Weinstein's lawyer Ben Brafman told reporters: "This is obviously a very positive development".

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The latest revelation comes after another damaging report, that the NYPD's lead investigator on the case failed to turn over statements from a casting director who said Evans told him she had performed the sex act to score an acting gig. The judge called a hearing for December 20, when he is expected to rule on those motions, meaning the flagship trial of the #MeToo era will not see serious courtroom action until well into 2019, if indeed it does proceed to trial.

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

"It only speaks volumes about the Manhattan district attorney's office and its mishandling of my client's case". Outside court, he suggested that Evans should be prosecuted criminally for perjury.

Out on $1 million bail after having entered a not-guilty plea to the first round of indictment and surrendering his passport earlier this year, Weinstein was last in court July 9 to enter another not-guilty plea. The collapse of part of the case against him could mean trouble for the prosecutor.

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon countered in court papers that none of the emails show the accuser denying that she was raped and insisted the presentation to the grand jury was fair and complete.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. has already been fiercely criticized for declining to prosecute Weinstein when an Italian model accused him of grabbing her breasts in 2015.

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