Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has one less count of sexual assault being brought against him before his trial begins.
According to The Daily Beast, on Thursday morning, a judge “dismissed one of six criminal counts brought against the disgraced movie mogul by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.”
Actress Lucia Evans alleges that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex in 2004. Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, argued that the charges be dismissed due to Evans previously describing the sex act to a witness as consensual. The witness reportedly told this to an NYPD detective last year.
“This is not about suggesting that a woman who comes forward should not be believed,” Brafman said in a press conference. “This is about a witness who came forward and committed perjury before a grand jury.” More from The Daily Beast:
Brafman told the court that he planned to file additional motions to have the remaining five charges dismissed. He plans to request dismissal of all testimony from a detective who did not report exculpatory evidence to the D.A.’s office before Weinstein was indicted.
In a letter dated September 12, the D.A.’s office told Brafman that they had interviewed the witness after the grand jury indicted Weinstein. The D.A.’s office said it ‘recently learned’ the witness’ account was shared with police and that police ‘failed to inform our office of important account prior to the indictment in this case.’
The witness told prosecutors that she and Evans met Weinstein in a bar during summer 2004. On that evening, Weinstein allegedly offered to give both women cash in exchange for exposing their breasts to him. While the witness said she declined, she did not see Evans do so. Later that evening, as they walked home, Evans allegedly told the witness that she had shown her breasts to Weinstein.
The witness alleges that Evans later agreed to give Weinstein oral sex in exchange for a movie role. Evans has denied the account, according to a D.A.’s letter, asserting that she never exposed her breasts to Weinstein or gave him oral sex.
“Going forward, I would like to make one thing clear,” Assistant Defense Attorney Joan Illuzzi said in court, “nothing in the disclosure relating to Count Six impacts the strength of the remaining case and the remaining counts in the indictment, all five of them, including predatory sexual assault.”
Weinstein still faces as many as five counts of sex crimes, including rape in the first and third degree.