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Judge declines to dismiss rape, assault charges against Weinstein

By
Sam Howard
Harvey Weinstein arrives at Manhattan Court Thursday for a hearing in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Harvey Weinstein arrives at Manhattan Court Thursday for a hearing in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Criminal rape and sexual assault charges against disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein will not be dismissed, a New York judge determined Thursday.

Weinstein faces five criminal counts, including rape and predatory sexual assault, stemming from a 2004 incident in which Lucia Evans said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex and a 2013 incident in which an unnamed woman accused Weinstein of rape. He has pleaded not guilty.

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Weinstein's attorney Ben Brafman previously filed a motion to dismiss the charges, which New York Supreme Court Justice James Burke denied Thursday morning, also scheduling a pretrial hearing for March 7.

"We are obviously disappointed that the court did not dismiss the indictment, but Judge Burke has ruled, and we intend to continue to vigorously defend this case to the best of our ability," Brafman said following the hearing Thursday.

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Prosecutors dropped an additional charge against Weinstein in October, saying the incident between he and Evans may have been consensual -- a decision Evans' attorney Carrie Goldberg heavily criticized.

Gloria Allred, a prominent attorney representing one of the accusers, said she was pleased with Burke's decision not to dismiss the remaining charges.

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"This indictment was based on evidence and testimony before the grand jury," she said. "It was not based on the #MeToo movement. So, let's be clear about that."

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Sexual assault and harassment revelations against Weinstein first surfaced in October 2017 reports from The New York Times and The New Yorker. They eventually sparked similar accusations against prominent men in other industries and a broader discussion of sexual consent and harassment, particularly in the workplace.

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