Judge Rejects Weinstein's Ask to Dismiss All Sexual Assault Charges

New York Judge James Burke ruled on Thursday that Harvey Weinstein will go to trial for five felony charges of sexual assault.

Dec 20 2018, 4:06pm

A New York judge has ruled that Harvey Weinstein will proceed to trial for a case related to allegations of rape and sexual assault dating back to 2013 and 2006 respectively.

For these alleged crimes, Weinstein faces five felony charges, according to CNN, none of which were dismissed by Judge James Burke when Weinstein appeared for the Thursday hearing despite Weinstein's request for them all to be dropped. Burke ordered Weinstein to reappear in court for a pre-trial hearing on March 7.

"Today’s ruling was a technical ruling on the law, and although disappointed, it does not in any way suggest that the case against Mr. Weinstein is going to end badly," Benjamin Brafman, Weinstein's lawyer, told reporters Thursday morning. "To the contrary, based on the evidence that I am aware of, I believe that if we proceed to trial, and I think we will fairly soon, I think Mr. Weinstein will be exonerated. "

One of the charges in the New York case against Weinstein had been dropped in October, after the Manhattan district attorney's office reportedly discovered evidence that authorities believed showed one of Weinstein's accusers' encounters with him was consensual. That accuser was Lucia Evans, an aspiring actress who accuse Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex on him during a 2004 meeting at the Miramax offices in Tribeca.

The "account" uncovered by the Manhattan DA's office reportedly includes testimony from Evans herself that apparently contradicts the allegations she made publicly in an interview with The New Yorker.

"I just sort of gave up," Evans told The New Yorker in October 2017, recounting her alleged assault. "That’s the most horrible part of it, and that’s why he’s been able to do this for so long to so many women: people give up, and then they feel like it's their fault."

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The other five charges in Weinstein's court case, however, remain. The 2013 rape allegation stems from a woman who remains publicly unnamed, and who says Weinstein assaulted her in a Manhattan hotel room. A woman named Mimi Haleyi leveled the 2006 allegation against Weinstein, saying he performed oral sex on her against her will in his Manhattan apartment. She's represented by feminist attorney Gloria Allred.

“Headlines suggesting that the case is crumbling are incorrect," Allred told reporters Thursday. “There’s only one person on trial here. It’s not the District Attorney, it’s not the police, it’s Harvey Weinstein.”