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Harvey Weinstein’s Attorney Moves to Dismiss Rape Case

Harvey Weinstein’s attorney moved on Monday to dismiss the five remaining counts in his sexual assault case, arguing that the entire prosecution has been tainted by police misconduct.

The defense lawyer, Ben Brafman, also released a text message from one of Weinstein’s accusers, Mimi Haleyi, in which she sought to meet up with him seven months after the alleged assault.

“Hi! Just wondering if u have any news on whether harvey will have time to see me before he leaves? x Miriam,” she wrote in February 2007, according to Brafman’s motion.

Brafman previously released 40 emails from a second accuser, who remains anonymous, in which she also spoke fondly of Weinstein and sought to meet with him. Those emails were disclosed as part of an earlier motion to dismiss the rape charges against Weinstein, which was denied.

The case has been on the ropes since last month, when the Manhattan District Attorney’s office disclosed that New York Police Department detective Nicholas DiGaudio had failed to notify prosecutors of exculpatory evidence pertaining to the third alleged victim, Lucia Evans. A friend of Evans told police that Evans had portrayed their encounter in 2004 as consensual. According to the D.A., DiGaudio concealed that account from prosecutors, and told the witness “less is more.” DiGaudio is no longer on the Weinstein case.

The D.A.’s office agreed to drop the single count related to Evans, but has argued that the remaining counts are solid.

“We are moving full-steam ahead,” lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon said in court last month.

On Oct. 17, prosecutors notified the defense of a second instance involving DiGaudio. The anonymous victim had come forward to say that DiGaudio had encouraged her to delete information from her phone before turning it over to the D.A. The woman consulted an attorney and ultimately did not delete anything, according to prosecutors.

Weinstein faces up to life in prison if convicted of the most serious remaining charges against him. He is accused of forcibly performing oral sex on Haleyi, a production assistant. He is also accused of raping the anonymous victim at a hotel in New York in 2013. Brafman has said the woman engaged in a 10-year consensual relationship with Weinstein, which lasted for several years after the alleged rape.

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