Wednesday 18 September 2019

Judge rejects Weinstein bid to stop sex charges

US supreme court

Harvey Weinstein. Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP
Harvey Weinstein. Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP

Brendan Pierson

A judge denied Harvey Weinstein's motion to dismiss criminal charges he sexually assaulted two women, rejecting the movie producer's argument the case was tainted by police and prosecution misconduct.

Supreme Court Justice James Burke announced his decision in a packed Manhattan courtroom. Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Mr Weinstein, told reporters he was disappointed in the decision but confident his client would prevail at trial.

In a written decision released after the hearing, Judge Burke said there was "no basis for the defendant's claim of prosecutorial or law enforcement misconduct in the proceedings".

The ruling came about two months after Mr Weinstein had a charge involving a third woman dismissed when prosecutors revealed a New York City detective had withheld information during the investigation, so they could not pursue the charge.

In his motion to dismiss the remaining counts, Mr Weinstein said the detective's withholding of information compromised the integrity of the entire grand jury process that led to the indictment.

The judge a problem with one charge did not "infect the integrity" of the other charges, which concern different women.

Mr Weinstein, who faces life in prison if convicted of the five charges against him, has denied having non-consensual sex with anyone following accusations by more than 70 women.

Irish Independent

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