Harvey Weinstein has filed to dismiss the five remaining criminal charges against him, alleging that police misconduct has tainted the grand jury proceedings in the case and that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office failed to turn over evidence that he had a consensual relationship with one of his accusers.
Benjamin Brafman of Brafman & Associates, the lead attorney for the former movie mogul, also argues in the motion to dismiss that the two charges of predatory sexual assault, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, against Weinstein are unconstitutionally vague.
The motion to dismiss comes a few weeks after one of the six charges against Weinstein was dropped amid revelations about a New York City police detective, which has led some observers to speculate that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office may face considerable challenges in winning its case against Weinstein.
Last month, acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice James Burke dismissed one count of first-degree criminal sexual act against Weinstein after it was revealed that New York City Police Detective Nicholas DiGaudio did not report that a witness he interviewed for the case provided an account of a 2004 incident that contradicted one provided by Lucia Evans, who alleged that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex.
The dismissal took Evans out of the case, reducing the number of Weinstein’s accusers to two; Mimi Haleyi, a production assistant who said Weinstein forced himself on her in 2006; and an unnamed accuser who says that Weinstein assaulted her in 2013.
Days later, the case was hit with another allegation of police misconduct—Vance’s office disclosed that DiGaudio coached the 2013 accuser to delete files from cellphones that were being submitted as evidence in the case.
In the new motion to dismiss, filed on Monday, Brafman argues that Weinstein’s lawyers have come across information that could further weaken the case against Weinstein: that Haleyi texted Weinstein several months after her alleged assault, indicating that she still wanted to see Weinstein after the incident and that any sexual contact between them was consensual, and that this information was withheld from the grand jury.
Weinstein’s attorneys also allege that each of the three accusers deleted social media posts from around the time that they were allegedly assaulted.
“The sheer hypocrisy of the indictment is simply stunning,” Brafman said in court papers.
Brafman & Associates attorneys Jacob Kaplan and Mark Baker are also working on the case.
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi is leading the prosecution. The DA’s Office declined to comment.
The motion to dismiss comes days after the stack of civil complaints against Weinstein grew slightly larger. Last week, a 10th plaintiff joined in a civil racketeering suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Weinstein and the Weinstein Cos., alleging that Weinstein forced himself on her in 2002 when she was 16 years old.