What to Know
- The lawyers representing Harvey Weinstein in his sexual assault case want to see it tossed out, calling the indictment "deeply flawed"
- Attorney Ben Brafman on Thursday filed a motion to dismiss the case, saying emails show Weinstein was on good terms with his alleged victims
- Thursday’s filing isn’t the first time Weinstein’s attorneys have tried to get the criminal case against him dismissed
The lawyers representing Harvey Weinstein in his sexual assault case want to see it tossed out — calling the indictment against the movie mogul “deeply flawed” and saying they have evidence that undermines his accusers’ claims.
Attorney Ben Brafman on Thursday filed a motion to dismiss the case, saying emails from Weinstein’s alleged victims show that they “for years engaged in loving and often intimate conversations with him before and after the date of the alleged assault[s].”
The filing claims Weinstein was indicted “based on a grand jury presentation that was tainted by police misconduct… false testimony from a complaining witness and the District Attorney purposely withholding exculpatory information from the grand jurors in order secure an indictment.”
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One of Weinstein's alleged victims tried to get a friend to act as a witness and "fabricate" claims, according to the filing. The friend says the alleged victim never said "anything bad" about Weinstein until this past year, the filing says.
The filing also claims the lead prosecutor in the case "unethically withheld" information to "cover up their malfeasance."
The Manhattan District Attorney's Office said Thursday it's declining comment on the filing.
"I hope this motion will help restore the presumption of innocence and Mr. Weinstein's constitutional right to due process that has been compromised by the extraordinary pressure to prosecute in a case that is now falling apart under a cloud of serious official misconduct," Brafman said in a statement.
Thursday’s filing isn’t the first time Weinstein’s attorneys have tried to get the criminal case against him dismissed. Earlier this month, they asked a judge to jettison the entire case, citing evidence that Detective Nicholas DiGaudio told a witness to keep quiet when she raised doubts about the veracity of a sexual assault allegation against Weinstein.
DiGaudio told the witness that "less is more," prosecutors acknowledged last month.
Prosecutors also have disclosed an allegation that the same officer urged another Weinstein accuser to delete material from her cellphones before handing them over to prosecutors. The material did not pertain to Weinstein, prosecutors said, and ultimately was not deleted.
Weinstein's attorneys have described DiGaudio as "a serial obstructer" who was "singularly hell-bent on concealing the truth." The officer's conduct prompted the district attorney's office to dismiss a count that alleged Weinstein forced Lucia Evans to perform oral sex in 2004 when she was a college student and fledgling actress.
Weinstein, was originally charged with assaulting three women. He denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
In their attempt to have the case dismissed, Weinstein's lawyers accused prosecutors of failing to show the grand jury evidence that they contend undermines the charges.
Prosecutors, however, have pushed back against his lawyers' attempts to have the case against him dismissed, saying there is "ample evidence" to move forward with the sexual assault charges against the former Hollywood producer.
"There is no possibility that this issue in any way impaired the integrity of the grand jury or prejudiced the defendant," Assistant District Attorney Kevin Wilson wrote in a motion filed in response to Weinstein's attorneys calls for a dismissal.