Judge drops one charge against Harvey Weinstein, Entertainment News & Top Stories

Danny Woods
October 14, 2018

A Manhattan judge on Thursday tossed out one of the criminal counts faced by Harvey Weinstein, undercutting prosecutors' case against the former Hollywood producer.

Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon did not oppose the dismissal but added that this disclosure does not impact the strength of the remaining case.

A letter previously filed under a protective order was unsealed on Thursday, which not only revealed credibility issues with one of Harvey Weinstein accusers, but also possible misconduct by a NY detective.

The woman also told the detective that sometime after Evans' office meeting with Weinstein, she had suggested what happened was consensual.

Weinstein's legal team argued in court papers that prosecutors hadn't properly identified the day on which Evans alleged she had been assaulted. It was alleged the detective may have improperly "coached" a witness before she testified before a grand jury.

Weinstein's lawyer Ben Brafman asked the judge to review all of the detective's work, but the judge has yet to respond to that request. He told the court that he will plan to file further motions to have the other five charges dropped, as well.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office declined comment.

According to the letter, when Evans first met Weinstein at a restaurant in the summer of 2004, she says she was accompanied by a friend.

The witness had given the different account to a NY police officer who had failed to tell prosecutors, the letter added.

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Details emerged on Thursday after the court unsealed a letter that Manhattan prosecutors wrote to Weinstein's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, in September.

Although Brafman said he has "great respect" for the D.A.'s office, "I have deep regret that the thoroughness of the investigation did not prevent them from charging Mr. Weinstein with a crime he did not commit".

On Thursday he sat in a Manhattan criminal court in a dark suit to hear the prosecution agree to drop a forced act of oral sex lodged by Lucia Evans against him in 2004, due to witness inconsistencies.

A lawyer for Evans said they were disappointed by the decision, saying in a statement the district attorney abandoned their client.

The New York Post, never known for its restraint, blasted out a headline just before the judge dismissed the sexual assault count, wondering if the D.A.'s case is "in danger of falling apart". "Weinstein may have been the snowball that started the avalanche, but the ability of any one perpetrator being held accountable or getting away with it doesn't alter the national outrage".

Weinstein, who is also charged with raping a woman in 2013 and forcing an unwanted sex act on a woman in 2006, remains free on bail.

Weinstein is free on $1 million bail and is due back in court December 20.

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

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