The Manhattan district attorney’s office has dropped one of the charges it brought against movie producer Harvey Weinstein.
Why was the charge dropped?
This particular charge involved actress Lucia Evans, who claimed that Weinstein forced her to perform a sex act in 2004. A year ago, she detailed this incident to Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker. However, an email from Evans from 2015 suggests that the interaction was consensual. Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Weinstein, argued that this proved that Evans had lied both to the jury and in her interview with The New Yorker.
A lawyer for Evans insisted that even though this charge was thrown out, her client’s claims are still truthful. The lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, added “People always ask why don’t sexual assault survivors come forward, this is why. Today is why.”
The New York Police Department is also investigating claims that the lead detective on her case had advised Evans to keep this information that could potentially undermine her claim to herself.
Evans was one of three accusers in the case against Weinstein. Dozens of other women have come forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct, but were not involved in this case.
What happens now?
The trial will continue, just without the charge supported by Evans’ accusation. Weinstein still faces charges for five additional sex crimes, including allegedly raping another woman in 2013, and sexually assaulting a third woman in 2006.
An attorney for Weinstein has said that he plans to file motions to dismiss each of the remaining charges. “What troubles me is that when you are vilified in the media, as has Mr. Weinstein, there is a rush to judgment, which is offensive to the concept of fairness and due process,” attorney Benjamin Brafman told CNN. “There is a rush to arrest, there is pressure to arrest, and what we see is that happened in this case.”