Judge Rules Harvey Weinstein Must Face Remaining Rape Charges


Now comes a potential day of reckoning for the disgraced movie mogul.

New York Judge James Burke held a brief court session Thursday after a flurry of court papers in which Weinstein's lawyers say the case has been "irreparably tainted" by allegations that a police detective acted improperly in the investigation.

He is accused of raping a woman in a NY hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman at his Manhattan apartment in 2006.

Weinstein was arrested in May and charged with six counts of sexual assault relating to three different women - including predatory sexual assault, rape and a criminal sexual act.

Harvey Weinstein leaves the hearing where a judge dismissed his bid to have two charges dropped.

The case has been mired in complications, with Weinstein's team alleging police misconduct in the investigation. According to Gershman, Weinstein's case could further underscore how powerful the #MeToo movement has become.

Burke, however, ruled that the case will continue, and set a pre-trial hearing for March 7.

In May, Harvey Weinstein turned himself in to police following allegations by several women of sexual misconduct.

The proceeding was attended by actresses Marisa Tomei and Kathy Najimy, the latter of whom told Vulture that she was present "to hear the proceeding and support survivors".

Jennifer Esposito Marisa Tomei Amber Tamblyn and Michelle Hurd
Jennifer Esposito Marisa Tomei Amber Tamblyn and Michelle Hurd

"This indictment was based on evidence and testimony before the grand jury", she said upon leaving court.

"Frankly, we are relieved that Harvey Weinstein failed in his efforts to avoid accountability for his actions, and we are very happy that none of the charges were dismissed".

Weinstein has been accused by over 80 women.

But in recent months, Weinstein worked side-by-side with Brafman to throw doubt on the case and his accusers. His lawyers had claimed that the case was tainted by police and prosecutorial misconduct.

Bennett Gershman, who teaches law at Pace University, said he believes prosecutors have a solid case with the two remaining accusers, no matter what they may have said to Weinstein after the alleged assaults.

The friend told investigators that Weinstein and the accuser had been "hooking up" consensually for a while and that she never heard her say anything bad about him until a year ago, Brafman said in a court filing.

He apparently told another accuser, Mimi Haleyi, who says Weinstein forced her into oral sex in 2006, to delete text messages that could be potentially embarrassing for her, despite prosecutors' advice not to do so.

Burke's ruling revealed that Weinstein had agreed in May to testify before the grand jury considering his case.

Weinstein's lawyer Benjamin Brafman said that his client will ultimately be exonerated.

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