Defence seeks to toss all Weinstein sex charges
NEW YORK: Harvey Weinstein's defence lawyer went back on the offensive on Monday, petitioning a New York court to throw out the entire remaining sex assault case against his client, alleging new evidence and fresh police misconduct.
Last month, a judge threw out one of six original assault charges - of a forced act of oral sex in 2004 lodged by Lucia Evans against the movie mogul - due to witness inconsistencies and police misconduct.
On Monday, his lawyer Ben Brafman asked for the five remaining charges to be dismissed or for the court to hold a hearing to "determine the full extent" of what he called "misconduct".
He suggested a police detective had committed "additional misconduct" involving an accuser, failing to disclose that the two continued to communicate after the alleged assault.
Brafman had asked in August for the entire case to be thrown out, disclosing e-mails that allegedly showed his client and the alleged rape victim were in a "long-term, consensual, intimate relationship".
On Monday, he released what he claimed was a text message sent by one of the accusers, months after the alleged assault in which she seemingly tried to meet up with him.
"Hi! Just wondering if u have any news on whether harvey will have time to see me before he leaves? x Miriam," she allegedly texted in 2007.
Brafman complained that police misconduct and perjury committed by Evans "irreparably prejudiced the grand jury" and that messages from another accuser Mimi Haleyi to Weinstein show that any sexual contact was "purely consensual".
Weinstein, accused by more than 80 women of sexual misconduct, could still spend life in prison if convicted of rape in March 2013 and a forced act of oral sex in 2006.
The 66-year-old was arrested in May.
The next hearing is scheduled for Dec 20. - AFP