Will Harvey Weinstein charges stick? Judge to rule

Will Harvey Weinstein charges stick? Judge to rule

Will Harvey Weinstein charges stick? Judge to rule

Weinstein's legal team has been putting on a fierce campaign to convince judge James Burke to throw out the case, seizing on allegations of unscrupulous police work and producing a witness who says his rape accuser pressured her to corroborate her story.

He was arrested by the New York Police Department in May and charged in Manhattan with forcing former actress Lucia Evans to perform oral sex on him in 2004; attacking another woman, Mimi Haleyi, in 2006; and sexually assaulting an unidentified woman in a hotel in 2013.

It's been 14 months since the first allegations against Weinstein came out of the woodwork last fall, leading dozens of women to point the finger at the Hollywood power player for misconduct over almost four decades.

Brafman argued the case was "irreparably tainted by police misconduct" and wanted it dismissed.

Prosecutors say there's ample evidence to move forward to trial.

A conviction for Weinstein would vindicate numerous women who were able to expose his behavior, according to Gershman. Their voices would "help their case tremendously", similar to how five witnesses testified against Bill Cosby before he was convicted and sentenced earlier this year for drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand.

After the private conversation, Burke adjourned the hearing by only saying, "I will see you again March 7 for pretrial hearings".

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Burke dismissed one charge against Weinstein earlier this year but he flatly rejected the defense motion on Thursday to toss out the other five counts. He pleaded not guilty and is free on $1 million bail.

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 ruling came about two months after Weinstein won dismissal of a charge involving a third woman after prosecutors revealed that a New York City police detective had withheld information during the investigation, and said they could no longer pursue the charge.

The accusations led to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, politics and entertainment of sexual harassment and abuse. There was no evidence, he wrote, that prosecutors had acted improperly.

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. Prosecutors said the material didn't pertain to Weinstein and the woman wound up not deleting anything.

"We remain confident despite the court's ruling today, that ultimately at a trial of this case Mr Weinstein will be completely exonerated".

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