Judge refuses to dismiss Weinstein case

Next hearing is set for March

by Jennie Kermode

Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein Photo: Georges Biard

Harvey Weinstein today failed in a legal bid to have two sexual assault charges against him dismissed on the grounds of what his attorney described as 'prosecutorial misconduct'. New York Supreme Court Justice James Burke ruled that the prosecution was not obliged to present any exculpatory or mitigating evidence it may have because the case was at the Grand Jury stage rather than the trial stage. He also refused to grant an evidentiary hearing.

Weinstein had argued that the alleged evidenced would support his claim that the incidents reported as sexual assault were consensual. He currently faces a total of five charges of rape and sexual assault. Last week he was hit with a fresh lawsuit alleging sexual assault on another woman. It alleges that during an assault he asked the woman involved, who was sobbing, if she was serious about wanting to be an actress.

In the new lawsuit, it is also alleged that Weinstein boasted about having had sex with Jennifer Lawrence, a claim that the Hunger Games star has strongly denied. "I have never had anything but a professional relationship with him. This is yet another example of the predatory tactics and lies that he engaged in to lure countless women," she said in a statement.

The date of the next hearing was set for 7 March. Weinstein continues to maintain his innocence on all counts.

Amber Tamblyn was among a small crowd of people present at the court building today hoping for the judge to rule as he did. "It is a small victory," she said. "But there’s a long way to go. We’ll be there again on March 7th and look forward to seeing him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

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