Time’s Up Demands ‘Independent Investigation’ of NY District Attorney Over Failure to Prosecute Harvey Weinstein

Cyrus Vance comes under new scrutiny over his decision to not prosecute Weinstein in 2015

Last Updated: March 19, 2018 @ 6:32 AM

Time’s Up, the woman’s advocacy and legal organization targeting sexual harassment in the workplace, is demanding that New York City District Attorney Cyrus Vance be investigated for his failure to prosecute Harvey Weinstein after being presented with evidence of Weinstein’s sexual crimes.

“Time’s Up, a global organization dedicated to ending workplace sexual harassment and abuse, calls on the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, to launch an independent investigation of the New York County District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, and the office of the District Attorney to determine the facts related to the decision not to prosecute Harvey Weinstein for sexual abuse crimes against one of his accusers, Ambra Battilana,” reads the opening statement to a letter the group sent to New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

The letter was first provided to and published by New York Magazine’s The Cut on Sunday.

“Reports that District Attorney Cyrus Vance could have been improperly influenced by Mr. Weinstein and/or his representatives, and that senior officials within the DA’s office may have sought to intimidate Battilana are particularly disturbing and merit investigation,” the organization adds.

The issue at hand for the organization concerns Vance’s response to a 2015 NYPD audio recording of Weinstein pressuring Battilana for sex, and admitting that he had groped her in the past. This audio recording was one of the most arresting revelations in Ronan Farrow’s New Yorker piece originally exposing Weinstein’s behavior.

According to Farrow, police sources at the time were angry at Vance’s decision not to use the audio to make a case against Weinstein.

“We had the evidence,” a police source involved with the Battilana investigation told Farrow. “It’s a case that made me angrier than I thought possible, and I have been on the force a long time.”

In a statement at the time, Vance defended his office’s conduct.

“This case was taken seriously from the outset, with a thorough investigation conducted by our Sex Crimes Unit, they said. “After analyzing the available evidence, including multiple interviews with both parties, a criminal charge is not supported.”

Neither Vance’s office or Times Up were immediately available for comment Monday morning.