Harvey Weinstein Trial: One Sexual Assault Count Dismissed
- Author: Jacqueline Ellis Oct 12, 2018,
Oct 12, 2018, 9:58
The lead detective in the Weinstein cases is now under investigation after tampering with a witness.
Prosecutors said in a September 12 letter to the defense unsealed today that they discovered an account after Weinstein's arrest that could suggest the encounter was consensual.
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon told the judge that prosecutors would not oppose dismissal of the count in the case involving Evans, but she said the rest of the case was strong.
"It only speaks volumes about the Manhattan district attorney's office and its mishandling of my client's case".
Weinstein still faces charges over allegations that he raped a woman in his hotel room in 2013 and sexually assaulted a different woman in 2006.
Film producer Harvey Weinstein arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court for his hearing in N.Y., October 11, 2018.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. had charged Mr. Weinstein with crimes including rape and predatory sexual assault.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is free on $1 million bail.
The New York Police Department says it is investigating allegations that a detective improperly coached a witness during the Harvey Weinstein investigation.
"I want to be very clear that prosecutor's decision to abandon my client's claims does not invalidate the truth of her claims", Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer for Evans, told reporters outside the courthouse following Thursday's hearing.
Weinstein has been accused of misconduct by dozens of women, allegations that torpedoed his career and helped launch the #MeToo movement.
There are still five criminal charges against the embattled producer involving two other women.
In a shocking disclosure, the pal said that she gave the same account to the detective during the February 2 phone interview while her attorney was present - adding that she had also told him that a fact checker from the New Yorker had called to confirm Evans' assault claims.
Prosecutors said in a letter unsealed Thursday they learned weeks ago that a woman who was with Evans the night she met Weinstein at a restaurant had given a police detective a contradictory account of what happened, but that the detective had urged her to keep quiet, telling her "less is more".
The woman also told the detective that sometime after Evans' office meeting with Weinstein, she had suggested what happened was consensual. Weinstein had promised to get her an acting job if she agreed to perform oral sex, and she agreed, it said. Evans says the inconsistencies come from her flawed memory, and that she never disclosed the details of the sexual assault to her husband.
He walked into the criminal court in downtown Manhattan dressed in a dark suit, tie and white shirt for the brief hearing that scored at least an initial win for his defence attorney Ben Brafman.
Brafman has called the charges against Weinstein a product of political pressure amid the #MeToo outcry.
The 66-year-old father of five, out on a $1 million bail and forced to wear a Global Positioning System monitor, attended the latest court hearing and denies any non-consensual sexual relations.