Judge Refuses To Dismiss Sexual Assault Charges Against Harvey Weinstein


His downfall led women across the world to speak out about similar allegations involving powerful figures abusing their power, a cultural force known as the #MeToo movement.

He was released on bail and pleaded not guilty to the charges allegedly committed in 2004, 2006 and 2013.

The hearing will see a judge decide whether Weinstein should face charges of raping a woman he knew in a hotel room in March, 2013.

One count was dismissed in October after an NYPD officer was found to have mishandled evidence.

Soon after the first allegations surfaced Weinstein apologized for the "pain" he had caused but never admitted to any illegal activity. "He has maintained that he has never engaged in non-consensual sex with anyone".

After a brief hearing and discussion with the lawyers, that lasted roughly 15 minutes total, the judge denied a motion to dismiss the case.

The Manhattan district attorney's office had not presented a misleading account of the relationship between the two women and Weinstein as Brafman had claimed, Judge Burke wrote. "He faces five felony charges", CNN reports.

Brafman also said after the hearing, "This is not about the #MeToo movement". He was taken off the case.

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Brafman argued the case was "irreparably tainted by police misconduct" and wanted it dismissed.

For Bennett Gershman, a former prosecutor who teaches law at Pace University, prosecutors threw out the charge related to Evans precisely to avoid contaminating the rest of the case.

In the months after The New York Times and The New Yorker began publishing stories about Weinstein's interactions with women, activists pressured Vance to bring charges as dozens of people came forward with claims of sexual misconduct against him. Another option is that the judge could throw the indictment out - but give prosecutors time to seek a new one.

He added that he still believes prosecutors have a solid case with the two remaining accusers, no matter what they said to Weinstein after the alleged assaults.

Burke could also keep the indictment in place, but grant the defense's request for an evidentiary hearing.

The case has been mired in complications, with Weinstein's team alleging police misconduct in the investigation. Their voices would "help their case tremendously", similar to how five witnesses testified against Bill Cosby before he was convicted and sentenced earlier this year for drugging and assaulting Andrea Constand.

Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Mr Weinstein, told reporters outside the courthouse he was disappointed in the decision but was confident his client would prevail at trial.

They say everything in Haleyi's mobile phone was turned over to investigators, and that the detective's conduct only affected Evans' case.