Judge denies request to throw out Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault case

Judge denies request to throw out Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault case

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul whose downfall helped launch the #MeToo movement, is due back in NY court on March 7 after a judge Thursday morning ordered a pretrial hearing in the rape case.

The 66-year-old Weinstein is facing five counts over an alleged rape in March 2013 and a forced act of oral sex in 2006.

The former Weinstein Co. leader put on his fiercest campaign yet to get the case thrown out, seizing on allegations of unscrupulous police work and putting forth a witness who says his rape accuser pressured her to corroborate her story.

Marisa Tomei, center, leaves New York Supreme Court after attending a hearing in the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, in New York.

The judge said that while prosecutors must disclose evidence favorable to a defendant before trial, they do not have to show it to a grand jury. He could side with Weinstein and dismiss some or all of the charges, or he could schedule a trial, which would be a win for prosecutors.

Manhattan prosecutors dropped one of the charges against him - allegations that he raped an aspiring actress who was still in college - after evidence surfaced that Det.

Weinstein turned himself in to authorities in May, and was hit with six felony charges across June and July.

Harvey Weinstein in court as judge declines to dismiss #MeToo sexual assault case against him - live updates
Judge to rule on fate of Harvey Weinstein's criminal case

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.

The judge also denied Weinstein's request for an evidentiary hearing and said that his defense lawyers could address the issue of the witnesses' credibility during the trial.

More than 80 women have accused Weinstein of sexual assault or harassment and the allegations against the producer helped fuel the global #MeToo movement.

"We are obviously disappointed that the charges were not dismissed today", Weinstein's lawyer, Ben Brafman, told reporters as he left court.

He added that he still believes prosecutors have a solid case with the two remaining accusers, no matter what they said to Weinstein after the alleged assaults. Prosecutors said the material didn't pertain to Weinstein and the woman wound up not deleting anything.

The next hearing in the case is set for 7 March.

Brafman argued that the rest should go, too, arguing that a detective involved in Weinstein's arrest made several key mistakes in his investigation and that the women who accused his client are lying. He is urging Burke to dismiss the case, writing in a recent court filing: "The only reasonably prudent decision would be to stop this chaos now".




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