Prosecutors drop part of Weinstein sexual assault case

Tabitha Dunn
October 12, 2018

"Nor does it reflect on Lucia's consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein", she said in a written statement.

Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea says an internal probe of the detective's conduct began a week ago. Although Brafman said he has "great respect" for the D.A.'s office, "I have deep regret that the thoroughness of the investigation did not prevent them from charging Mr. Weinstein with a crime he did not commit". A message left on a phone used by the detective in the past wasn't immediately returned. The union representing New York City police detectives also didn't return a message.

The DA says they obtained a draft email from Evans to her now-husband recounting the incident with Weinstein. They say that account differs from the one she provided to investigators.

"Over 80 women have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual violence and if our justice system fails to hold him criminally accountable then something is wrong with our justice system", the lawyer told reporters.

Defence attorney Ben Brafman called today's proceedings a "positive development" and accused prosecutors of withholding evidence that could have swayed the grand jury not to indict Weinstein in regards to the Evans accusations.

A lawyer for Evans said they were disappointed by the decision, saying in a statement the district attorney abandoned their client.

Assistant district attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said the rest of the prosecution's case was strong, telling the judge: "In short, your honour, we are moving full steam ahead".

Manhattan's district attorney dropped part of the criminal case against Weinstein on Thursday.

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"According to the Witness.the Complainant [Evans] told the Witness that.the Complainant had gone to the defendant's office, where the Defendant told her, in substance, that he would arrange for the Complainant to receive an acting job if she agreed to perform oral sex upon him".

Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Weinstein, argued that this proved that Evans had lied both to the jury and in her interview with The New Yorker.

Detective Nicholas DiGaudio, who was one of two investigators who escorted Weinstein out of a police station and into court after his May arrest, is now embroiled in an internal police department investigation and has been thrown off the case. Their argument reportedly included concerns that accuser Lucia Evans's story didn't add up so they pushed for dismissal of the case.

Judge James Burke is expected to issue rulings Thursday on defense motions assailing an indictment accusing Weinstein of rape and sexual assault. 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 friend told prosecutors that Evans admitted she performed the sex act and during the conversation was "upset, embarrassed and shaking".

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.

Those follow-on charges marked an additional count of criminal sexual act for a forcible sexual act that allegedly occurred in 2006.

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