Published: Thu, October 11, 2018

NY prosecutor drops part of sex assault case against Harvey Weinstein

NY prosecutor drops part of sex assault case against Harvey Weinstein

A NY judge on Thursday dismissed one of six sexual assault allegations against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, which defence lawyers claim taints the entire case against him.

"Nothing in the disclosure relating to count six impacts the strength of the remaining case and the remaining counts in the indictment, all five of them, including predatory sexual assault", she said.

Weinstein maintains that he's innocent of the charges. The union represented New York City police detectives also didn't immediately return a message.

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they consent to being identified publicly, as Evans has.

It says the accuser told prosecutors that the inconsistencies may have been caused by a flawed memory. Add Harvey Weinstein as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Harvey Weinstein news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

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.

NY appeals courts have said prosecutors aren't obliged to present grand jurors with all forms of evidence that could favor a defendant, but the courts also have noted that prosecutors are obliged to seek justice and not just convictions.

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

Mr Weinstein's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said he would seek to have the remaining charges dismissed as well.

In an expose published in The New Yorker a year ago, Evans accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex when they met alone in his office in 2004 to discuss her fledgling acting career.

The charges related to alleged incidents with three different women, in 2004, 2006 and 2013.

Weinstein says he is innocent.

But a prior employer of Evans turned over the personal writings she'd left on the company computer, which appear to contradict her grand jury testimony, a law enforcement source said.

Goldberg said the decision "only speaks volumes about the Manhattan DA's office and its mishandling of my client's case".

The development was announced in court Thursday with Weinstein looking on.

Evans is one of three women whose allegations form the backbone of the criminal case.

"Sexual assault is a serious crime but falsely accusing someone of sexual assault is also a serious crime", Brafman said outside court on Thursday. Days later, The New Yorker published the first in a series of articles in which women brought forth allegations of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment against the film executive.

The witness alleges that Evans later agreed to give Weinstein oral sex in exchange for a movie role.

Weinstein's lawyers and prosecutors had been wrangling over the part of the indictment pertaining to Evans in recent weeks in closed-door meetings and sealed court papers.

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

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