Sexual assault expenses towards the disgraced movie producer’s Harvey Weinstein might proceed, a New York decide dominated on Thursday.
Decide James Burke rejected a movement from Weinstein’s attorneys to dismiss the legal expenses towards him.
The ruling is a boon for the prosecution, which has been clouded by allegations that police acted improperly within the investigation that led to Weinstein’s arrest in Could.
Weinstein, 66, is charged with raping a girl he knew in a resort room in March 2013 and forcibly performing oral intercourse on one other girl in 2006 at his Manhattan house. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual intercourse.
There may be “no foundation for the defendant’s declare of prosecutorial or regulation enforcement misconduct within the proceedings”, the decide mentioned in a written choice issued after the listening to. He set the subsequent court docket date for 7 March.
Weinstein’s legal professionals had argued the case was “irreparably tainted” by a detective’s alleged teaching of a possible witness and one of many accusers. In addition they mentioned the grand jury ought to have been proven proof that Weinstein had exchanged pleasant emails together with his two accusers after the alleged assaults.
After the listening to, Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, mentioned he remained assured the previous Hollywood heavy hitter shall be “utterly exonerated” at trial.
“We intend to vigorously defend this case to the very best of our means,” Brafman mentioned.
Weinstein, carrying a enterprise swimsuit and tie, who stays free on $1m bail, left court docket with out commenting.
Actors Marisa Tomei and Amber Tamblyn have been in court docket on Thursday to indicate help for the accusers, together with different girls supporting the Time’s Up advocacy and authorized protection group for sexual assault and harassment survivors and the broader motion often known as #MeToo that was revitalized by mass allegations towards Weinstein uncovered in October 2017.
“At this time, right here in New York, we noticed the primary steps in the direction of justice,” the Time’s Up president, Lisa Borders, mentioned after the decide’s ruling. Weinstein had “failed in his efforts to keep away from accountability for his crimes”, she mentioned.
Weinstein’s protection was boosted in October this 12 months by back-to-back allegations of misconduct within the police investigation.
The Manhattan district legal professional, Cyrus Vance Jr, dropped one of many expenses towards him – allegations that he raped an aspiring actress who was nonetheless in faculty – after proof surfaced that Det Nicholas DiGaudio instructed a possible witness to maintain a few of her doubts concerning the veracity of the allegations to herself.
DiGaudio allegedly instructed the witness in February that when she spoke to prosecutors, “much less is extra”. That witness by no means testified earlier than the grand jury that indicted Weinstein.
Prosecutors additionally disclosed an allegation that DiGaudio urged the 2013 rape accuser to delete non-public materials from her cellphones earlier than handing them over to the district legal professional’s workplace.
However the district legal professional’s workplace mentioned the fabric didn’t pertain to Weinstein and he or she didn’t truly delete something.
Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents one of many accusers, mentioned there’s “nonetheless time for different accusers to return ahead” within the legal case.
She inspired anybody who might need related proof to report it.