Weinstein sex assault charge thrown out

Film producer Harvey Weinstein sits during his hearing at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York U.S

While more than 75 women have publicly accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct over the past year, the criminal case in New York City involves the allegations of just three women: Evans, an unidentified woman who says he raped her in a hotel room in 2013, and an actress who said Weinstein performed a forcible sex act on her in 2006.

The turn of events, which had been simmering for weeks in closed-door meetings and sealed court documents, enraged Evans' lawyer, who took to the courthouse steps to blast Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr for walking away from her client. "In short, your honour, we are moving full steam ahead", she said.

The New York Police Department says it is investigating allegations that a detective improperly coached a witness during the Harvey Weinstein investigation.

She says Weinstein forced her into oral sex in 2004.

Weinstein had previously pleaded not guilty to the six sex crimes he's been charged with in NY, including two counts of rape.

He also claimed a police officer had corruptly attempted to influence the case by keeping a witness from testifying about her misstatements.

Mr Weinstein's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said he would seek to have the remaining charges dismissed as well.

An attorney for Evans said Thursday's development "speaks volumes about the Manhattan DA's office and its mishandling of my client's case".

Weinstein's legal team argued in court papers that prosecutors hadn't properly identified the day on which Evans alleged she had been assaulted.

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Mr Brafman also said he would investigate what he said had been "perjury" before the grand jury which indicted Mr Weinstein, as well as the conduct of a NY police officer who had worked on the case.

"The integrity of these proceedings has been compromised", he claimed. According to the letter, the D.A.'s office had recently learned a third-party witness gave an account to a detective, who then "failed to inform our office of important aspects of the account prior to the indictment in this case".

Evans' lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, insisted the case was strong.

A message left on a phone used by the detective in the past wasn't returned.

As the accusations against Weinstein mounted, his company Weinstein Co fired him and filed for bankruptcy, and he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The disgraced movie mogul was accused in Manhattan state court of allegedly nonconsensual sexual behavior toward three women. At the time, Vance cited a lack of supporting evidence, despite the existence of a clandestinely made recording of Weinstein discussing the episode with the woman. Five other charges, involving alleged assaults of two other women, remain in the case in Manhattan criminal court.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for December 20.

"This is not about suggesting that a woman who comes forward should not be believed", Brafman said in a press conference.

The 66-year-old father of five, out on a $1 million bail and forced to wear a Global Positioning System monitor, attended the latest court hearing and denies any non-consensual sexual relations.

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