The Manhattan district attorney’s office is urging a state Supreme Court judge to reject Harvey Weinstein’s call to dismiss all of the remaining sex-crimes charges against him.
District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office strenuously objected to Weinstein’s legal argument that the entire grand jury process had been tainted by police misconduct and perjury by one of the accusers in a court filing today.
Prosecutors moved to dismiss one of the sexual assault charges last month, after acknowledging that the lead detective in the case had committed an error — he failed to tell them about other witnesses who cast doubt on the credibility of one of Weinstein’s accusers, Lucia Evans.
In today’s legal filling, the prosecutors argue that the remaining criminal charges rely on other evidence that is independent of Evans’ testimony, and therefore not sullied. Indeed, the grand jury was instructed to treat those allegations separately, the DA argues in court papers (read it here).
“The defendant’s myriad arguments in support of dismissal … boil down to the claim that the new information that led to dismissal of count six must somehow have impaired the integrity of the entire grand jury process, requiring the dismissal of every count,” wrote ADA Kevin Wilson. “The law, however, is clear and to the contrary.”
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Wilson contend that Weinstein fails to clear the legal high bar necessary to dismiss a grand jury indictment. He argues that questions about Evans’ testimony came to light after the indictment had been handed down. There’s no suggestion that the prosecutor knew about the perjury, and hid it from the grand jury, he wrote.
Nor are the rest of the charges based on false evidence, Wilson argues.
Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, maintained prosecutors should have presented the grand jury with emails and texts from the other accusers demonstrate that any sexual contact between Weinstein and other accusers “was purely consensual.”
The Manhattan DA’s office countered that it provided “full, accurate and fair evidence” supporting the remaining counts in the indictment — and it’s under no obligation to present this type of evidence.
“A review of the grand jury minutes will reveal that evidence was presented properly and with correct legal instructions,” Wilson writes.
Weinstein’s attorney said we wasn’t persuaded by the DA’s argument.
“Nothing in the DA’s response gives us any more confidence in the integrity of the Grand Jury’s proceedings, and we anticipate filing a formal reply after the Thanksgiving Holiday,” Brafman said. “As for the hearing that the people fear will become a “circus” – it is they who created the circus with the DA and the NYPD calling each other liars.”
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