Harvey Weinstein: judge rejects bid to dismiss sexual assault charges

Harvey Weinstein: judge rejects bid to dismiss sexual assault charges

Harvey Weinstein: judge rejects bid to dismiss sexual assault charges

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.

If Harvey Weinstein were in charge of the script, he'd be walking out of a court hearing on Thursday free of the criminal charges threatening to put him behind bars.

Weinstein's lawyers say the case has been "irreparably tainted" by allegations that a police detective acted improperly in the investigation.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

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. Nicholas DiGaudio, who was booted off the Weinstein case over allegations that he withheld information in accuser Lucia Evan's case.

Weinstein, a twice-married father of five, could face life in prison if convicted.

When the Weinstein case goes to trial, it will no doubt be a massive media spectacle.

Burke dismissed one charge against Weinstein earlier this year but he flatly rejected the defense motion on Thursday to toss out the other five counts.

Weinstein's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, calls it a "technical ruling" and says he's still confident Weinstein will be "completely exonerated".

Manhattan prosecutors dropped one of the charges against him - allegations that he raped an aspiring actress who was still in college - after evidence surfaced that Det.

The accusations led to the #MeToo movement in which hundreds of women have publicly accused powerful men in business, politics and entertainment of sexual harassment and abuse.

The judge handed the lawyers a stack of papers, saying, "My decision - which does not dismiss the indictment".

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.

Late last month, Weinstein's lawyers said they spoke to a woman who said the rape accuser asked her to corroborate her allegations, but the friend wouldn't "make up a story".

A hearing for the case is now scheduled for early March.

Weinstein was initially accused of sexually assaulting three women but the case has grown in number, with the 66-year-old indicted on charges of rape in the first and third degrees, two counts of criminal sexual acts in the first degree and two counts of predatory sexual assault. He is urging Burke to dismiss the case, writing in a recent court filing: "The only reasonably prudent decision would be to stop this chaos now".

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