Judge refuses to dismiss sex assault charges against Harvey Weinstein
22 December, 2018, 17:13 | Author: Heather Diaz
A NY judge has today denied a motion to dismiss sexual assault allegations against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
"We are obviously disappointed that the charges were not dismissed today", Weinstein's attorney Ben Brafman told reporters after a brief court hearing in Manhattan.
Weinstein's lawyers say the case has been "irreparably tainted" by allegations that a police detective acted improperly in the investigation.
Weinstein was initially indicted on sex-crime charges involving three women, including one who said that the producer raped her in 2013 at a Midtown Manhattan hotel.
It's been 14 months since the first allegations against Weinstein came out of the woodwork last fall, leading dozens of women to point the finger at the Hollywood power player for misconduct over almost four decades.
Seizing on the alleged police misconduct, Weinstein's lawyers putting forth a witness who says his rape accuser pressured her to corroborate her story.
"Frankly, we are relieved that Harvey Weinstein failed in his efforts to avoid accountability for his actions, and we are very happy that none of the charges were dismissed". "The Grand Jury is not an adversarial proceeding and the People do not have the same obligation of disclosure at the Grand Jury stage as they have at the trial stage".
As for the Weinstein defense team's attempts to discredit accusers by showing email correspondence with the producer, Burke wrote that "the defendant may explore any issues of witness credibility at a trial should such witnesses testify".
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At the time, it seemed like a big win for the #MeToo movement; dozens of women had come forward to accuse Weinstein of rape and sexual misconduct that took place over almost four decades.
Weinstein turned himself in to authorities in May, and was hit with six felony charges across June and July.
The investigator is alleged to have coached a potential witness and one of Weinstein's accusers.
"It's a disappointment", Brafman said outside the courthouse after the judge declined to dismiss the case.
Prosectors will likely look to obtain testimony from additional women who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault, says Bennett Gershman, a Pace Law professor and a former prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said the material didn't pertain to Weinstein and the woman wound up not deleting anything.
Brafman argued that the rest should go, too, arguing that a detective involved in Weinstein's arrest made several key mistakes in his investigation and that the women who accused his client are lying.
They have said the prosecutors' case is tarnished by police misconduct and asked for an evidentiary hearing over the revelations.
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