Manhattan District Attorney Drops Sexual Assault Charge in Harvey Weinstein Case


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.

A NY judge on Thursday dismissed one of six sexual assault allegations against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, which defence lawyers claim taints the entire case against him.

A NY judge has dismissed a major charge in the criminal case against Harvey Weinstein in relation to accusations made by Lucia Evans.

The 66-year-old father of five, out on a $1 million bail and forced to wear a Global Positioning System monitor, has long pleaded not guilty to six counts allegedly committed against three women in 2004, 2006 and 2013. Evans has denied the account, according to a D.A.'s letter, asserting that she never exposed her breasts to Weinstein or gave him oral sex.

Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon insisted the rest of the case is strong and said the district attorney's office was looking into the possibility of bringing additional charges. The prosecution assured they are "moving full-steam ahead" on all other counts.

His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said he would seek to have the remaining charges dismissed as well.

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. had charged Mr. Weinstein with crimes including rape and predatory sexual assault. "Nor does it reflect on Lucia's consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein", said lawyer Carrie Goldberg. Rather, "it only speaks volumes about the Manhattan D.A.'s office and its mishandling of my client's case".

The NYPD has said it stands by the criminal case against Weinstein but has not directly addressed the alleged conduct of the investigator.

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Evans was a 21-year-old college student in 2004 when she claims the former American film producer forced her to perform oral sex when the met alone in his office. Brafman accused Evans of perjury, stating that she once described her encounter with Weinstein as consensual to a witness, who recounted the story to NYPD past year.

Prosecutors said actress Lucia Evans had given a witness a different version of the alleged sex assault from the one she had given them.

"This is an attack on the fundamental integrity of the grand jury process", Brafman said. However, an email from Evans from 2015 suggests that the interaction was consensual.

"I think this grand jury is irreparably damaged".

"Sexual assault is a serious crime but falsely accusing someone of sexual assault is also a serious crime", Brafman said outside court on Thursday.

Weinstein's lawyers and prosecutors had been wrangling over the part of the indictment pertaining to Evans in recent weeks in closed-door meetings and sealed court papers. Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said on Thursday that the department takes seriously the allegations against him. A message left on a phone used by the detective in the past wasn't immediately returned. The union for New York City police detectives didn't return a message.

The disgraced movie mogul was accused in Manhattan state court of allegedly nonconsensual sexual behavior toward three women.