Harvey Weinstein loses bid to dismiss criminal case

NYPD Detective Nicholas DiGaudio right escorts Harvey Weinstein into court in New

The Hollywood producer-turned-#MeToo pariah is putting on his fiercest campaign yet to convince a NY judge to throw out his sexual assault case, seizing on allegations of unscrupulous police work and putting forth a witness who says his rape accuser pressured her to corroborate her story.

A judge denied a motion by the former movie mogul's team that the case had been "irreparably tainted" by allegations a police detective acted improperly during the investigation.

As NPR has previously reported, the prosecution says New York Police Department detective Nicholas DiGaudio erred in his communications with Weinstein's accusers a couple of times, including encouraging one accuser to delete personal data from her phone before she handed it over to police. Prosecutors say there's "ample evidence" to put Weinstein, 66, on trial and that the DiGaudio allegations haven't sullied the rest of the case.

Could Harvey Weinstein, public enemy number one of the #MeToo movement, end up walking away a free man?

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

After the private conversation, Burke adjourned the hearing by only saying, "I will see you again March 7 for pretrial hearings".

Disgraced movie producer indicted on two counts of rape and one count of criminal sex act; Laura Ingle reports from New York City. "Frankly, we are relieved that Harvey Weinstein failed in his efforts to avoid accountability for his actions, and we are very happy that none of the charges were dismissed".

Harvey Weinstein in court as judge declines to dismiss #MeToo sexual assault case against him - live updates
Judge to rule on fate of Harvey Weinstein's criminal case

A dismissal of the charges would be a big setback to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who was criticised for declining to pursue criminal charges against Weinstein when he was accused of groping an Italian model in 2015.

As a powerful Hollywood producer, Weinstein "commercialized his predatory behavior by forcing women to have sex with him if they wanted to advance their careers", Gershman says.

The judge also denied Weinstein's request for an evidentiary hearing and said that his defense lawyers could address the issue of the witnesses' credibility during the trial.

He apparently told another accuser, Mimi Haleyi, who says Weinstein forced her into oral sex in 2006, to delete text messages that could be potentially embarrassing for her, despite prosecutors' advice not to do so.

Marisa Tomei, center, leaves New York Supreme Court after attending a hearing in the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case, December 20, 2018, in New York.

Burke dismissed the charge related to Evans after the Manhattan district attorney's office acknowledged that Nicholas DiGaudio, the lead detective on the case, did not disclose information from a witness who said Evans had given her a conflicting account of the episode.

Burke's ruling revealed that Weinstein had agreed in May to testify before the grand jury considering his case.

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