Manhattan District Attorney Drops Sexual Assault Charge in Harvey Weinstein Case
Manhattan’s District Attorney on Thursday morning dropped part of the sexual assault case brought against Harvey Weinstein.
The dismissed charge was one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree based on allegations made by actress Lucia Evans, who publicly accused Weinstein last year of forcing her to perform oral sex in 2004, the Daily Beast reported. Evans was one of the first women to come forward with allegations against Weinstein.
Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman told the judge he believed Evans lied about her encounter with Weinstein to the grand jury and to the New Yorker last year. Brafman accused Evans of perjury, stating that she once described her encounter with Weinstein as consensual to a witness, who recounted the story to NYPD last year.
Brafman added that he believed a NYPD detective attempted to influence the case by encouraging the witness to remain quiet about inconsistencies, according to the Washington Post. He told the court that he will plan to file further motions to have the other five charges dropped, as well.
In a statement reported by the Guardian, Carrie Goldberg, a lawyer for Evans said the dropped charge “speaks volumes about the Manhattan DA’s office and its mishandling of my client’s case.” Goldberg said, “Let me be clear: the decision to throw away my client’s sexual assault charges says nothing about Weinstein’s guilt or innocence. Nor does it reflect on Lucia’s consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein.”
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty on the remaining charges, including allegations that he raped an unidentified woman in a hotel room in 2013, and forcibly performed a sex act on another woman in 2006. He is out on $1 million bail.