Judge refuses to dismiss sex assault charges against Weinstein

Tanya Cunningham
December 22, 2018

Benjamin Brafman, the disgraced movie mogul's attorney, had built a case that the charges had been brought upon political pressure, also arguing that the Manhattan D.A. failed to hand in exculpatory evidence - like witnesses and communications - that would prove consensual relationships with all the accusers.

Oscar victor Marisa Tomei smiled in relief after a judge refused to dismiss the sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein, who limped into court Thursday for an update in the case against him.

He has been accused of raping a woman he knew in a hotel room in March 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment.

Weinstein faces five felony charges: two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count each of first-degree rape and third-degree rape. There, police investigators could be summoned to court to answer questions about alleged misconduct.

Weinstein's next court date is scheduled for March 7.

Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault case will move forward. He denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex. He said he's confident Weinstein will be "completely exonerated", calling the judge's decision a "technical ruling on the law".

Actresses Marisa Tomei and Kathy Najimy, as well as members of Time's Up, the Hollywood movement formed in response to Weinstein, attended Thursday's hearing.

"If these women testify strongly on the witness stand, Weinstein will lose", he predicted.

Bennett Gershman, who teaches law at Pace University, said he believes prosecutors have a solid case with the two remaining accusers, no matter what they may have said to Weinstein after the alleged assaults.

The case has been heavily scrutinized in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which exploded past year after numerous women made allegations against Weinstein.

It's been over a year since New York Times investigative reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor published their exposé on Harvey Weinstein, setting the #MeToo Movement in motion. His lawyers had claimed that the case was tainted by police and prosecutorial misconduct.

But in recent months, Weinstein worked side-by-side with Brafman to throw doubt on the case and his accusers. Prosecutors said the material didn't pertain to Weinstein and the woman wound up not deleting anything.

"The only reasonably prudent decision would be to stop this chaos now", Brafman said in a court filing.

Burke dismissed the charge related to Evans after the Manhattan district attorney's office acknowledged that Nicholas DiGaudio, the lead detective on the case, did not disclose information from a witness who said Evans had given her a conflicting account of the episode. Nothing in the court's ruling, however, removes the flawed theory of this case...

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