Manhattan Judge Drops One Criminal Charge Against Harvey Weinstein

Lewis Collier
October 11, 2018

A NY judge dismissed count 6 of Harvey Weinstein's criminal indictment Thursday, which was a criminal sexual act in the first degree.

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

Weinstein has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone following accusations by more than 70 women, mostly young actresses and other women employed in the movie business, of sexual misconduct, including rape, dating back decades. She said she had initially met Weinstein at a restaurant in Manhattan earlier that summer.

Evans' lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, insisted the case was strong.

Weinstein's legal team argued in court papers that prosecutors hadn't properly identified the day on which Evans alleged she had been assaulted. 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. Goldberg said the prosecution "jumped ship" and "ultimately she was caught between the middle of a feud between the NYPD and the DA's office".

An attorney for Evans told the Associated Press the dropping of the count "says nothing about Weinstein's guilt or innocence". Rather, "it only speaks volumes about the Manhattan D.A.'s office and its mishandling of my client's case".

People ask why survivors of sexual assault don't come forward in the criminal system - this is why.

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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.

"The integrity of these proceedings has been compromised", he said. Outside court, he suggested that Evans should be prosecuted criminally for perjury.

Brafman identified the detective in the case as Nicholas DiGaudio.

Vance's office also learned that the witness had given the account to a New York City police detective, who failed to inform the prosecutors, according to the letter. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on US$1 million bail. The collapse of part of the case against him could mean trouble for the prosecutor.

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

Weinstein appeared before New York Judge James Burke as his lawyers tried to have some or all of the charges he faces dismissed.

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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