Manhattan prosecutors said they presented a “fair and full account” of the relationship between disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and one of his accusers, despite not producing emails to the grand jury that the defense claims shows he had a consensual relationship with one accuser.
In a response filed Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, who is leading the prosecution against Weinstein, called on Acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke to deny a motion by Benjamin Brafman, Weinstein’s lead counsel, to dismiss two counts of predatory sexual assault, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree rape and third-degree rape.
Brafman argued in the motion to dismiss, filed last month, that emails between Weinstein and one of three alleged victims could have been read as “consistent with an ongoing, warm, friendly relationship” that carried on after his alleged 2013 attack, and not that of a rapist and his victim.
Brafman also peppered the motion with excerpts from communiques between Weinstein and his accuser, including from an email in which they allegedly said: “I love you, always do. But I hate feeling like a booty call.”
But Weinstein does not claim the emails contain a denial of the rape allegation, Illuzzi-Orbon wrote in her motion—rather the emails could suggest a state of mind that is inconsistent with what Weinstein feels “should be that of a rape victim.”
With respect to arguments from Weinstein’s lawyers that they were not given enough time to prepare him to testify before a grand jury, prosecutors said Weinstein was given notice last October and again on May 16—nine days before he was arrested—that he would have the chance to testify before a grand jury.
Additionally, prosecutors said, Weinstein could have told the grand jury of his relationship with his accuser without having the emails physically on hand.
Three of the counts in the indictment pertain to an alleged 2013 attack where the accuser remains unnamed.
The remaining counts relate to Lucia Evans, an aspiring actress who said Weinstein forced her to give him oral sex in 2004; and Mimi Haleyi, a production assistant who said Weinstein forced himself upon her in 2006.
Weinstein, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison on the predatory sexual assault counts.
Weinstein is scheduled to appear for a Nov. 8 hearing before a Manhattan Supreme Court justice.
Illuzzi-Orbon also addressed a portion of Brafman’s motion to dismiss in which he characterized Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. as being under “unprecedented” pressure to indict Weinstein, citing the fact that his office had not brought charges against Weinstein regarding allegations that he sexually assaulted actress Paz de la Huerta, despite the fact sources within the New York City Police Department told media outlets there was enough evidence to make an arrest.
Brafman also said the pressure on Vance was ratcheted up by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order for the attorney general to investigate how the DA handled allegations by Italian model Ambra Gutierrez that Weinstein groped her during a meeting at his office, allegations also investigated by the NYPD that did not materialize into criminal charges for Weinstein.
Prosecutors said Brafman’s motion mischaracterizes Cuomo’s letter to then-Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as an order to investigate “failures to prosecute Weinstein” when it was actually to direct an inquiry into the working relationship between the Manhattan DA and the NYPD with regard to the handling of the allegations against Weinstein.