NY prosecutor drops part of sex assault case against Harvey Weinstein

Lawrence Kim
October 11, 2018

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.

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.

A source familiar with the investigation told CNN at the time that the criminal sex act charge was from a case involving aspiring actress Lucia Evans, who alleged Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in his Tribeca office in 2004.

In an expose published in The New Yorker a year ago, Evans accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex when they met alone in his office in 2004 to discuss her fledgling acting career.

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

Mr Brafman also said he would investigate what he said had been "perjury" before the grand jury which indicted Mr Weinstein, as well as the conduct of a NY police officer who had worked on the case.

The letter also said prosecutors had recently obtained an email that Evans wrote in 2015 to the man she later married. "I think the case against Mr Weinstein is, in my view, not sustainable", Brafman added, saying he would submit additional motions in November.

After the hearing, the Manhattan district attorney's office released a letter it had sent to Mr Brafman last month which said that a witness had told prosecutors that she had heard a version of the alleged assault from Ms Evans that was different from the account Ms Evans had originally given prosecutors. "Nor does it reflect on Lucia's consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein", said attorney Carrie Goldberg.

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. Evans claims Weinstein forced himself on her, but the witness says otherwise.

"It only speaks volumes about the Manhattan district attorney's office and its mishandling of my client's case".

"This is an attack on the fundamental integrity of the grand jury process".

The detective has been removed from the case, Brafman said. A message left on a phone used by the detective in the past wasn't immediately returned.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is free on $1 million bail.

Weinstein has been accused of misconduct by dozens of women, allegations that torpedoed his career and helped launch the #MeToo movement. At the time, Vance cited a lack of supporting evidence, despite the existence of a clandestinely made recording of Weinstein discussing the episode with the woman.

"People always ask why don't sexual assault survivors come forward, this is why".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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