Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case to move forward, rules judge

Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case to move forward, rules judge

The Hollywood producer is hoping a judge in NY will agree that all the criminal charges against him should be dropped - and that he can walk out of court a free man.

He faces five felony charges: two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count each of first-degree rape and third-degree rape.

The proceedings lasted just 10 minutes, a remarkably quick resolution to a highly anticipated and pivotal appearance that the defense had hoped would end with the charges against Weinstein getting dropped.

The case has been mired in complications, with Weinstein's team alleging police misconduct in the investigation. Weinstein is due back in court on March 7.

However, Judge James Burke ruled the case can move forward.

Harvey Weinstein arrives for arraignment at Manhattan Criminal Courthouse in handcuffs after being arrested and processed on charges of rape, committing a criminal sex act, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct on 25 May 2018 in New York City. He said he's confident Weinstein will be "completely exonerated", calling the judge's decision a "technical ruling on the law". About half a dozen women supporting Time's Up, including actresses Amber Tamblyn and Marisa Tomei, were at the hearing Thursday.

"This indictment was based on evidence and testimony before the grand jury", she said upon leaving court.

At the time, it seemed like a big win for the #MeToo movement; dozens of women had come forward to accuse Weinstein of rape and sexual misconduct that took place over almost four decades.

Weinstein's lawyers say the case has devolved into chaos and was "irreparably tainted" by Det Nicholas DiGaudio's alleged interference with a witness and an accuser.

But in recent months, Weinstein worked side-by-side with Brafman to throw doubt on the case and his accusers.

He added that he still believes prosecutors have a solid case with the two remaining accusers, no matter what they said to Weinstein after the alleged assaults.

The friend told investigators that Weinstein and the accuser had been "hooking up" consensually for a while and that she never heard her say anything bad about him until a year ago, Weinstein's lawyer, Ben Brafman, said in a court filing. Prosecutors said the material didn't pertain to Weinstein and the woman wound up not deleting anything.

Barbara Barron, a professor at Hofstra University School of Law, says the detective's conduct created a "surprise" in the Weinstein case. Weinstein's lawyers are also claiming that the prosecution has not included evidence, specifically correspondence between Weinstein and his accusers that they claim allude to a consensual relationship.

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