One Sexual Assault Charge Against Harvey Weinstein Dismissed
The lead detective did not give exculpatory evidence to the prosecution.
A judge dismissed one out of six sexual assault charges against movie producer Harvey Weinstein after the prosecutors admitted that the lead detective on the case did not tell them that one witness doubted one of the accusers. From The New York Times:
Mr. Weinstein, 66, was charged in May with raping one woman and forcing another, Lucia Evans, to perform oral sex on him. Ms. Evans, a marketing executive, had testified to a state grand jury that the forced sex act had occurred in 2004, during a casting meeting at the offices of Mr. Weinstein’s film company, Miramax, in Manhattan’s TriBeCa neighborhood.
But in a letter unsealed after Thursday’s hearing, prosecutors from the Manhattan district attorney’s office revealed that a friend of Ms. Evans had informed them in August that Ms. Evans had given her a different account of the incident. The friend, who was not identified, told prosecutors that Ms. Evans had said she willingly performed oral sex on Mr. Weinstein in exchange for the promise of an “acting job.”
The friend said that she had provided this information to the lead detective in February, more than three months before Mr. Weinstein was indicted. According to the prosecutors’ letter, the detective, Nicholas DiGaudio, “failed to inform” the district attorney’s office of “important details” of the interview. In addition, he explained to the friend that she had no obligation to cooperate with prosecutors, telling her “less is more.”
The prosecutors also have an email written by Evans to her fiance in 2015 that has “a version of the encounter that is at odds with the version she told law enforcement.”
Since October 2017, over 80 females have accused Weinstein of rape, sexual assault, or sexual harassment. The bombshell produced that month birthed the #MeToo movement.
Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman claimed that Evans committed “perjury when she testified to the grand jury.” He said that while sexual assault is a serious crime, “accusing someone of sexual assault is also a serious crime.”
Evans’ lawyer criticized the move. From ABC News:
“Let me be clear: the decision to throw away my client’s sexual assault charges says nothing about Weinstein’s guilt or innocence. Nor does it reflect on Lucia’s consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein,” said attorney Carrie Goldberg. “It only speaks volumes about the Manhattan DA’s office and its mishandling of my client’s case.”
Goldberg also blamed the mess on the feud between the district attorney’s office and the NYPD. From Variety:
“Instead of rising to the challenges of their mistakes, the DA jumped ship at the first opportunity,” she said. “[District Attorney Cyrus] Vance has done this before, when powerful men have been accused of sex crimes, including Weinstein himself; throwing cooperative crime victims under the bus. It raises serious questions of bias.”
Goldberg has a point. Vogue ran an article in October 2017 that claimed Vance has a history of not going after high-profile people. That same month, The New Yorker revealed that the NYPD began to gather evidence against Weinstein in 2015, but Vance did not charge him due to lack of evidence, even though the model “had caught Weinstein on tape apologizing for groping her the day before.”
In March 2018, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered an investigation into Cyrus and his decision not to prosecute Weinstein in 2018. But in August, he told the Attorney General’s Office to pause the investigation because “it could potentially hamper Weinstein’s criminal case that’s currently playing out in Manhattan.”
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Correct me if I get the language wrong but is the prosecution with holding exculpatory evidence a crime?
If not it should be…
No. It’s professional misconduct but it’s not a crime. But that’s not what happened here. The prosecution didn’t withhold the information; it didn’t know it either. The police didn’t tell the prosecution. When the prosecution found out they told the judge, who dismissed the charge.
In addition, he explained to the friend that she had no obligation to cooperate with prosecutors, telling her “less is more.”
If accurate, this sounds serious. Shouldn’t prosecutors throw this stuff out before it gets to a judge? (Yes, I know, perhaps I should know better . . .)
They brought it to the judge as soon as they knew.
The problem with #MeTooBS is that it brings all sorts of rift raft out, some trying to settle an old grudge, some just wanting to bask in media, many looking for a payout, with at least half being #MeTooLiars.
I dated for over ten years before settling down, over 200 women, and during that time I learned that women suffer from most of the same vices as men. Some scheme, lie, cheat, steal. They are usually less violent than men, but not always. And some are bat shit crazy.
The friend, who was not identified, told prosecutors that Ms. Evans had said she willingly performed oral sex on Mr. Weinstein in exchange for the promise of an “acting job.”
While Weinstein is no doubt a sleaze and guilty of something, I’m increasingly coming to the conclusion that he’s a sacrifical lamb thrown to the media to distract from Hollywood’s bigger pedophilia problem. And that he’s very likely to skate from all this.
“Ms. Evans had said she willingly performed oral sex on Mr. Weinstein in exchange for the promise of an “acting job.”
The dark underbelly of #MeToo: some of it is just women wo attempted to trade sex for favors, and who subsequently regretted doing so.
Perhaps because they convinced themselves they would have gotten the job/promotion/whatever anyway (due to their superior talents), or rage when the promised favors either were not delivered, or were delivered but were of lesser quality. Or they thought they could blackmail the man only to discover the threat to expose him had little or no value. Or, sometimes, no regret at all, just an opportunistic hop on board the bandwagon.
And some of it undoubtedly is real, but at this point who can separate the real from the less-than-real? And more rage, and even more rage at demands for evidence beyond the mere accusation.
We’re supposed to believe it’s all simple: men lied, and women cried. Yet life (and esp. the sexual side of it) is rarely so simple.
I agree with you. Weinstein is a pig, but I suspect that many of the women who are accusing him were trading sex for a movie role. It IS the oldest profession, you know.
Interaction between the human sexes is a complicated area of life. Far too complicated to go into here. After all, sexual favors have been valuable currency in Hollywood and the entertainment industry for decades. But, the specifics of this case are highly disturbing on their own.
Apparently, what we have here is a LEO who arbitrarily decided to ignore evidence which would completely change the level of viability for a criminal charge, BEFORE that charge was even filed. Worse, it also appears that the LEO coached the complainant to refrain from mentioning the exculpatory evidence which she had already told him. In other words, this LEO actively attempted to frame a person for a criminal act.
Now, if the prosecution had known about this information BEFORE Weinstein was indicted, it is possible that it could have been investigated and found that Weinstein made demands of the complainant to the point where she had a reasonable fear of negative consequences if she did not acquiesce to those demands. While this does not seem to be the case, here, even if it was, the complainant has lost all credibility and that part of the case can not go forward and has to be dropped.
The criminal justice system failed, in part, in this case. And, it did not fail through carelessness or incompetence, but through a calculated act.
The real injustice of #metoo were the women who were discriminated against because they weren’t pretty enough to be exploited. I am surprised that more actesses aren’t raging against the “hos” who used their sexual wiles to advance their vagenda.
In my perfect world, it should be treated like insider trading. Any woman who uses sex to get something above and beyond what her abilities would get her needs to return those extras (cash and/or awards) in order to make a complaint. Regrets need to have a cost, otherwise, it becomes a win win, have your cake and eat it too, proposition for the complainer.
One down, 50 to go…
Was this detective immediately offered a job by Bob Mueller?