Not a miracle for Harvey Weinstein: a judge in new york refused on Thursday to drop criminal proceedings against the ex-film producer accused of multiple sexual assaults, which are now expected to go to trial. “We are obviously disappointed the fact that the charges have not been abandoned,” said Ben Brafman, the lawyer for Harvey Weinstein, a man of american cinema accused of numerous sexual assaults, after a court hearing in Manhattan. “We intend to defend ourselves vigorously in the trial, which we are confident that Weinstein will be released entirely exonerated,” assured the lawyer, among the most seasoned veterans of the bar in new york city.
” READ ALSO – Case Harvey Weinstein: one year later, back on the key dates of the scandal
Beard, salt-and-pepper and costume dark grey, Harvey Weinstein, 66, who risk life imprisonment, but remained free for a bail of one million dollars, and the wearing of an electronic bracelet, is left immediately after the hearing in a 4×4 black, without saying a word to journalists who were waiting.
The movement Time’s Up, born in the wake of the #MeToo to defend the victims of sexual abuse in the workplace, welcomed the continuation of the prosecution. “We are relieved that Weinstein has failed in its efforts to avoid answering for its actions,” said its president, Lisa Borders, after having attended the hearing with a dozen other members of the organization, including actresses like Kathy Najimi ( Sister Act ). “We look forward to seeing Harvey Weinstein pursued with all the rigour of the law,” she added.
Except if the ex-producer had to enter a guilty plea, or other bounce unpredictable, the matter should now go to trial, which promises to be full of suspense as Ben Brafman excels in the fiscal year. The judge set a hearing on the preparation to the 7th of march. Accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than 80 women, including Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd, Harvey Weinstein has beautiful ensure that all of its sex was made, he became the incarnation of the abuse perpetrated with impunity by men of power.
“If women bear witness with strength, Weinstein will lose”
But since his indictment in New York in may, then July for blowjobs forced in 2004 and 2006, and for rape in 2013, on three different women, Ben Brafman had argued from the errors of the indictment which would have “irreparably tainted” the charge in the indictment. Causing multiple speculations about a “collapse” of the prosecutor’s file. In October, the lawyer had obtained the surrender of a six-count indictment: one corresponding to the claim of Lucia Evans, a former aspiring actress who claimed that Weinstein was forced to a blowjob in 2004. Prosecutors have declined to pursue this charge, after he appeared as a detective in charge of the investigation had ruled out a testimony that contradicts the story of Lucia Evans, to the police.
” READ ALSO – How to the case, Weinstein has reshuffled the cards in the French film
A friend of the woman had indicated having heard say that she had actually agreed to oral sex to get a role. Ben Brafman had argued that the detective discarded since, had committed other errors. In particular, by suggesting to one of the other complainants, Mimi Haleyi, which accuses Harvey Weinstein of blowjob forced, in 2006, to erase her mobile phone messages that are potentially embarrassing to it, contrary to the instructions of the prosecutors. The prosecution would also have failed to disclose to the defense of a very affectionate message sent to Weinstein by Mimi Haleyi after the assault alleged, introducing the doubt on a report that forced.
But judge James Burke has denied on Thursday all of these arguments. In his decision issued after the hearing, he considered “without merit” the argument of Brafman, according to which the prosecution had committed “mistakes”. And estimated, that the errors of the detective did not have “contaminated” the records of the two accusers remaining. He also concluded that the prosecutors did not have to disclose at this stage the exchanges between Weinstein and his accusers. Ben Brafman must now fight to prevent the prosecution to cite as witnesses at the trial to other women saying to have suffered the sexual assaults of Weinstein, but having abandoned the criminal prosecution.
” READ ALSO – “The case of Weinstein mark a paradigm shift for Hollywood”
The testimony of five women who are not complainants had been decisive during the second trial in April the former star of the u.s. television Bill Cosby, accused him also of sexual assault repeated, but tried for a single. He was sentenced to three years in prison, at least, the first victory of the era #MeToo. The lawyer Gloria Allred, specialized in the defense of sexual assault victims, has, from the steps of the court, appealed to other potential victims of Harvey Weinstein, to “come through”, pointing out that he was “still time” to support the prosecution case.
For Bennett Gershman, professor of law at Pace university and a former prosecutor, the public prosecutor has, however, a folder “sound” with the two accusers present, even if they have had discussions with Weinstein after their alleged assault. “They were saying tender words to Weinstein: is that surprising?” he said. “It was a man extremely powerful who controlled literally their reputation and their career.” “If women bear witness with strength, Weinstein will lose”, he predicted.