According to a new court filing, Harvey Weinstein and his attorneys plan to ask a Manhattan judge to dismiss many of the serious sexual assault charges that have been filed against the movie mogul, reports ABC News. Ben Brafman who is serving as Weinstein’s criminal attorney, is looking at a Friday deadline to file the pre-trial motion in New York, which will seek dismissal of the rape charge from at least one unnamed accuser. According to Weistein and his attorneys, they will be arguing that the first degree rape charge is invalid due to Weistain and the unnamed female having an ongoing relationship after the alleged attack.
In an effort to prove that the relationship was in fact consensual, Weinstein’s lawyers plan to submit a cache of several dozen emails to the Manhattan judge; these emails are claimed to contain conversations between Weinstein and the accuser.
“It is Mr. Weinstein’s belief that these e-mails are material and exculpatory and the failure of the district attorney to provide this evidence to the grand jury warrants a dismissal of the indictment.”
When asked by reporters to comment, ABC News states that District Attorney Vance declined to speak on the matter.
Records indicate that defense attorneys intend on urging the Manhattan criminal court judge to dismiss the top charge against Weinstein under the basis of ill followed court rules. They will argue that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. did not follow rules which stated prosecutors are required to bring potentially exculpatory information to the grand jury before an indictment is voted on, and are claiming this was not done with the alleged emails, which they now wish to submit.
Attorneys say that these emails between Weinstein and the unnamed woman were sent and received via Weinstein’s official company email account. After Weinstein was fired, his attorneys allegedly discovered these emails. They were unable to use them at the time due to a bankruptcy judge overseeing the dissolution of The Weinstein Company, who issued a protective order. The protective order banned Weinstein’s attorneys from disseminating the emails.
Weinstein, who currently faces sexual assault charges from three different women, was indicted in May and July by a Manhattan grand jury. The charges Weinstein is facing include one count of first degree rape and one count of third degree rape. Both of these rape charges are connected to one claimed encounter which allegedly occurred on March 18, 2013, at a hotel on the East Side of Manhattan. The additional sexual assault charges that Weinstein faces were not addressed in the recent court filing.