Harvey Weinstein Asks Judge to Dismiss Sexual Assault Case

Disgraced mogul’s criminal lawyer calls prosecution’s case “flawed” in motion filed Friday

Harvey Weinstein arrives at amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS 2010 benefit gala at the Hotel du Cap on May 20, 2010 in Antibes, France
Harvey Weinstein at amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS 2010 benefit gala at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes, France (Getty Images)

Harvey Weinstein on Friday made a push to have a New York judge toss out the criminal sexual assault case brought against him.

Weinstein, who’s been indicted on six counts including two counts of rape, said in a lengthy court filing from his lawyer Benjamin Brafman that the Manhattan D.A. “failed to provide the Grand Jury with exculpatory evidence of the long-term, consensual, intimate relationship between Mr. Weinstein and the alleged rape victim.”

Weinstein and his lawyer continued to point to what they consider failures on the part of the District Attorney, saying that the office did not give adequate notice that it was presenting new, far more serious charges to the Grand Jury.

The former Hollywood mogul is facing a six-count indictment stemming from a more than eight-month investigation by the D.A’s Office into alleged misconduct by Mr. Weinstein. The indictment alleges crimes of predatory sexual assault, criminal sexual act in the first degree, rape in the first degree and rape in the third degree.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Accusing the District Attorney of acting in “the face of outside pressure and political influences,” Friday’s filing says that the prosecutor likely presented the Grand Jury with an alleged rape victim “without presenting the actual and complete communications between the parties. This flawed presentation, we submit, knowingly allowed the Grand Jury to receive a materially incomplete picture of the evidence known to exist in this case, namely the long-term, consensual, intimate relationship between [the alleged victim] and Mr. Weinstein.”

The filing continues, “What is apparent instead is that the prosecutors already knew that [the alleged victim] and Mr. Weinstein had a long-term, consensual, intimate relationship at the time of the alleged rape and that it continued for years after.”

However, the filing cites “extensive communications and contact immediately following the now claimed forcible rape” that “instead reflect a consensual, intimate relationship with Mr. Weinstein in an exchange of more than 400 warm, complimentary and solicitous emails with an alleged rapist for more than four years after the alleged rape.”

Those communications, according to the filing, include emails from the alleged victim to Weinstein reading, “[I] hope to see you sooner than[] later. . . .,” “It would be great to see you again, and catch up!” and “Miss you big guy.”

The filing also says that the alleged rape victim sent a number of emails to Weinstein that “could also be reasonably understood to reflect [the victim’s] intention that she wanted the relationship to be deeper,” including a February 8, 2017, email saying, “I love you, always do. But I hate feeling like a booty call. :).”

The filing goes on to argue that the only reason that the accusations are not bound by the five-year statue of limitations is because the prosecution alleges that Weinstein used “forcible compulsion,” but that Weinstein’s team believes “the evidence before the Grand Jury was insufficient to meet the required standard of forcible compulsion and therefore all of these charges must be dismissed.”

Weinstein, who was arrested in May 2018, has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 80 women and faces possible life in prison for the charges against him in New York City.

He is also under criminal investigation in Los Angeles and London for additional accusations of misconduct. In addition, he faces several lawsuits, including a class-action RICO suit filed by several of his accusers, and a separate one filed by actress Ashley Judd, who accused him of sabotaging her career.

He has denied the accusations leveled against him.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report