Harvey Weinstein has elected not to testify to a grand jury convened by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, his attorney announced Wednesday.
Weinstein was charged in a criminal complaint on Friday with two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act. He is free on a $1 million bail, and restricted from traveling outside New York and Connecticut. A grand jury is convening to determine whether to issue an indictment on the same allegations. Weinstein’s decision not to testify is not a surprise, as it would be unusual to offer his version of events at this stage of the proceedings.
Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, did offer a glimpse of his defense, saying that one of the cases is 14 years old and the second involves a victim with whom he had a consensual relationship. In the statement, Brafman also objected to being denied access to “critical information about this case” that would have aided in his defense before the grand jury.
“Not having access to these materials is particularly troubling in this case, where one of the unsupported allegations is more than 14 years old and the rape allegation involves a woman with whom Mr. Weinstein shared a 10-year consensual sexual relationship that continued for years after the alleged incident in 2013,” Brafman said.
Weinstein is accused of forcing Lucia Evans to perform oral sex on him at his Tribeca office in 2004. The second case involves a woman who has not been identified by prosecutors, who alleges that Weinstein raped her in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013.
In the statement, Brafman acknowledged that an indictment is “inevitable,” but blamed District Attorney Cy Vance for bowing to political pressure.
“Mr. Weinstein’s attorneys noted that regardless of how compelling Mr. Weinstein’s personal testimony might be, an indictment was inevitable due to the unfair political pressure being placed on Cy Vance to secure a conviction of Mr. Weinstein,” Brafman said.