A New York judge on Thursday dismissed one of six sexual assault allegations against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, which defense lawyers claim taints the entire case against him.
The 66-year-old father of five, out on a $1 million bail and forced to wear a GPS monitor, has long pleaded not guilty to six counts allegedly committed against three women in 2004, 2006 and 2013.
He walked into the criminal court in downtown Manhattan dressed in a dark suit, tie and white shirt for the brief hearing that scored at least an initial win for his defense attorney Ben Brafman.
The tossed count relates to Lucia Evans, who has accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex in 2004.
It leaves Weinstein facing allegations largely related to two women, but Brafman argued that Evans’ “perjury” also taints the first count against Weinstein, if not the entire case.
“When one of the principle allegations in this indictment is predicated on perjured testimony that’s a very big, important development,” Brafman told reporters.
“I think this grand jury is irreparably damaged. I think the case against Mr Weinstein is, in my view, not sustainable,” Brafman added, saying he would submit additional motions in November.
“I’m not certain he will have any choice but to dismiss the entire indictment against Harvey Weinstein,” Brafman said.
Brafman asked in August for the entire case against Weinstein be thrown out, disclosing dozens of intimate emails between his client and his alleged rape victim, in which she said “I love you.”
Weinstein has been accused of misconduct by dozens of women, allegations that torpedoed his career and helped launch the #MeToo movement.