Harvey Weinstein

Jefferson Siegel/The Daily News via AP, Pool, File

Manhattan DA Drops Part Of Weinstein Case

October 11, 2018 - 3:46 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Manhattan's district attorney has dropped part of the criminal case against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Weinstein appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on Thursday morning as Judge James Burke decided to dismiss count six of the eight-count indictment against the 66-year-old film producer. It deals with sexual assault allegations by one of three accusers in the case, Lucia Evans.

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The case was dropped a year and a day after the bombshell New Yorker exposé in which Evans said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex during a meeting at his office when she was a 21-year-old aspiring actress in 2004.

Weinstein's attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said after the indictment they uncovered over 40 emails suggesting Evans had a longtime affair with Weinstein and that the 2004 encounter was consensual, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.

There were also allegations that a police detective may have improperly coached a witness prior to her testimony before the grand jury, Diamond reported earlier. The NYPD said it is has launched an internal probe into those allegations.

An attorney for Evans said the dismissal does not invalidate the truth.

"It does speak to a system desperately in need of reform," attorney Carrie Goldberg said. "And we must ask: Why is it so hard to hold rich, powerful predators responsible?"

Brafman said he will refile motions seeking to dismiss all of the charges against his client, saying that in the #MeToo movement he was "low hanging fruit."

"When you do your homework after the arrest, bad things happen and we are pleased with this development. The case is not over, but I think it is permanently and irreparably damaged," Brafman said. "What happened here in Harvey Weinstein was so vilified that he was considered to be low hanging fruit."

Brafman said in court that he believes Evans lied to the grand jury about what happened and now wants the assistant district attorney to prosecute Evans for perjury.

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.

Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi said nothing in the disclosure impacts the strength of the remaining counts.

Police Commissioner James O'Neill said the overall criminal case against Weinstein remains strong and the evidence is "compelling."

"The NYPD will continue to work with the prosecution in any way it can to seek justice for these brave survivors who have displayed tremendous courage in coming forward," O'Neill said.

More than 75 women have publicly accused Weinstein of wrongdoing.

He has maintained his innocence throughout, claiming any sexual encounters he had were consensual.

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