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One Charge Dismissed in Harvey Weinstein Sexual Assault Case

A Manhattan judge dismissed one of six criminal charges against Harvey Weinstein Thursday, The New York Times reports. The dropped charge relates to an allegation brought by Lucia Evans, who claims Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004.

Prosecutors said that they uncovered inconsistencies in statements made by one of Weinstein’s accusers, though the report did not specify what those inconsistencies were. Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, also argued that the grand jury had not been given evidence regarding Evans’ accusation before deciding to indict the disgraced Hollywood mogul.

Per The Guardian, Brafman also argued that he believed Evans had lied to the grand jury and claimed a police detective tried to influence the case by keeping a witness from testifying about Evans’ misstatements.

The assistant district attorney handling the case, Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, did not object to the dismissal. Weinstein still faces five additional charges related to allegations leveled by two other women, and Illuzzi-Orbon said in court that she believed those cases were strong. “In short, your honor, we are moving full steam ahead,” she said.

In a statement, Carrie Goldberg, Evans’ lawyer, accused the district attorney of mishandling her client’s case and criticized the decision to “abandon” her. “Let me be clear: the decision to throw away my client’s sexual assault charges says nothing about Weinstein’s guilt or innocence,” Goldberg said. “Nor does it reflect on Lucia’s consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein. It only speaks volumes about the Manhattan DA’s office and its mishandling of my client’s case.”

Weinstein turned himself in to police last May, though he has since pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. He’s free on $1 million bail. It has been one year since The New Yorker published the first in a series of articles by Ronan Farrow on October 10th, 2017, which ostensibly began what is now known as the #MeToo movement. That was followed by reports by the New York Times and other outlets in which women brought allegations of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment against a variety of people in the entertainment industry.

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