The Hollywood producer-turned-#MeToo pariah is putting on his fiercest campaign yet to convince a NY judge to throw out his sexual assault case, seizing on allegations of unscrupulous police work and putting forth a witness who says his rape accuser pressured her to corroborate her story.
Weinstein was initially indicted on sex-crime charges involving three women, including one who said that the producer raped her in 2013 at a Midtown Manhattan hotel.
Harvey Weinstein arrives for arraignment at Manhattan Criminal Courthouse in handcuffs after being arrested and processed on charges of rape, committing a criminal sex act, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct on 25 May 2018 in New York City.
Weinstein's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, calls it a "technical ruling" and says he's still confident Weinstein will be "completely exonerated". However, Judge Burke disagreed in his ruling on Thursday.
Actresses Amber Tamblyn and Marisa Tomei have attended Harvey Weinstein's NY court appearance to lend support for his sexual assault accusers.
Weinstein's lawyers argued the case had been "irreparably tainted" by a detective's alleged coaching of a potential witness and one of the accusers. Nicholas DiGaudio, who was booted off the Weinstein case over allegations that he withheld information in accuser Lucia Evan's case.
Brafman says he also has access to thousands of emails from Weinstein's former movie studio's servers that will weaken the case against his client, according to The Associated Press.
The friend told investigators that Weinstein and the accuser had been "hooking up" consensually for a while and that she never heard her say anything bad about him until a year ago, Brafman said in a court filing.
The case has been mired in complications, with Weinstein's team alleging police misconduct in the investigation.
DiGaudio allegedly told the witness last February that "less is more" but kept prosecutors in the dark. According to Gershman, Weinstein's case could further underscore how powerful the #MeToo movement has become.
He apparently told another accuser, Mimi Haleyi, who says Weinstein forced her into oral sex in 2006, to delete text messages that could be potentially embarrassing for her, despite prosecutors' advice not to do so.
One of the six felony charges Weinstein faces was thrown out following an error by a detective investigating the case, prosecutors said.
In October, prosecutors disclosed these and other mistakes to Weinstein's lawyers, who moved to have the assault charge based on Evans' allegations thrown out.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Wilson fired back, saying "there is no possibility" that the allegations against DiGaudio "in any way impaired the integrity of the grand jury or prejudiced the defendant".
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