A NY judge on Thursday dismissed one of the six criminal charges against movie producer Harvey Weinstein after prosecutors said they could not oppose the dismissal in light of information they had learned while investigating the case.
Film producer Harvey Weinstein sits during his hearing at Manhattan Criminal Court in NY, U.S., October 11, 2018. It deals with sexual assault allegations by one of three accusers in the case, Lucia Evans.
The woman who accused Weinstein of assaulting her in 2004, Lucia Evans, told the New Yorker in October 2017 that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him when she was a 21-year-old college student.
Remaining charges include allegations Weinstein raped a woman in 2013 and forced a sex act on a different woman in 2006.
"My client has sacrificed everything for her day in court to hold Harvey Weinstein responsible for sexual assault", said Evans' lawyer Carrie Goldberg.
His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said in court that he believes Evans lied to the grand jury about what happened.
Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi told Burke at a hearing that new information "was previously unknown to the people" - and that they wouldn't fight the defense request to toss one of the charges due to this info.
According to the witness, who was not named in the court filing, Evans had been drinking and "appeared to be upset, embarrassed and shaking" when she told the story.
Mr Brafman also said he would investigate what he said had been "perjury" before the grand jury which indicted Mr Weinstein, as well as the conduct of a NY police officer who had worked on the case.
"The integrity of these proceedings has been compromised", Mr Brafman said. Rather, "it only speaks volumes about the Manhattan D.A.'s office and its mishandling of my client's case".
Speaking outside court later, Brafman said Evans should be criminally prosecuted for perjury, insisting it was "not about victim shaming".
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and is free on $1 million bail.
Mr Weinstein has denied all the charges.
Weinstein and the woman, whose name has not been released, exchanged 400 emails during the "weeks and years after the alleged rape", the papers state.
This decision comes after Weinstein's lawyers argued that there are legal problems with the criminal case against him.
The Manhattan DA's Office ultimately said they would not oppose dismissing the count based on Evans' allegations, but would move forward with the rest of the case. At the time, Vance cited a lack of supporting evidence, despite the existence of a clandestinely made recording of Weinstein discussing the episode with the woman.
New York Police officials poured on the pressure, too, saying publicly they believed they had gathered ample evidence to make an arrest.