Harvey Weinstein wins minor victory as prosecutors dismiss one charge in sex assault case

Harvey Weinstein is now facing just five charges in his criminal case after a judge on Thursday agreed to dismiss one count that was related to a 2004 allegation. 

This small win came after new evidence came to light about Lucia Evans, who claimed she had been forced to perform oral sex on Weinstein back in 2004 while attending a meeting at his office in New York.

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi told the court that the prosecution would not object to the dismissal, noting that the defendant is still facing five additional charges. 

‘Upon defendant’s request, Judge Burke today lifted a protective order which previously covered the attached letter sent from ADA Joan Illuzzi to Benjamin Brafman on September 12, 2018, regarding mandatory disclosures under Criminal Procedure Law 240.20 and Brady v. Maryland,’ as spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney said on Thursday.

‘Additionally, in light of the newly-discovered and mandatorily-disclosed information contained within the letter, the Court today – upon defendant’s motion – dismissed Count Six of the indictment, concerning a forcible sexual act against a woman in 2004, while granting leave for the People to re-present Count Six to a Grand Jury. 

It was then noted”: ‘The dismissal of Count Six does not affect the remaining counts of the indictment.’

Day in court: Harvey Weinstein is now facing just five charges in his criminal case

Day in court: Harvey Weinstein is now facing just five charges in his criminal case

Day in court: Harvey Weinstein is now facing just five charges in his criminal case

It has been a year since Weinstein was first accused of sexually assaulting and harassing a slew of women in Hollywood.

And just last Friday a new lawsuit was filed against him by Travelers Casualty and Surety Co., which is now the fourth insurance company seeking a ruling that would allow the company to deny any requests to cover Weinstein’s many pending legal battles.

The lawsuit is a bit of a surprise given that Weinstein had coverage from the plaintiff while working at The Walt Disney Company from 1993 to 1998, shortly after the corporate giant acquired his production company Miramax.

An even bigger surprise, which also suggests more paper for Weinstein in the future, is the revelation in the lawsuit that an additional five women have filed pre-claims that could become lawsuits in the near future.

In total, there are 22 lawsuits and claims pending against Weinstein at this time, and a dwindling number of insurers willing to cover legal costs or any settlements in these cases.

Weinstein has ‘vehemently’ denied ever committing any criminal acts.

The first of the pre-claim suits mentioned in the filing from Traveler’s is C.C. v. Harvey Weinstein.

‘On February 21, 2018, C.C. asserted a claim against Weinstein. The claim alleges that C.C. had been subjected to a hostile and sexually abusive workplace during her time as an employee of The Weinstein Company (from June 2012 to July 2017 while performing her duties in London, New York and around the world,’ states the filing.

‘C.C. alleges that she was subjected to regular and pernicious sexualized behavior including penetrative sex and other sexual acts by Weinstein.’

While not identified, the timeline for those allegations do line up with one of the three victims whose alleged assault led to criminal charges for Weinstein.

Next is an alleged victim known only as R.P.

‘On October 14, 2017, R.P. asserted a claim against Weinstein alleging that she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein in or around December, 2006, when they met to discuss business,’ states the complaint from Travelers.

‘R.P. also alleged that Weinstein threatened and touched her in an aggressive manner during a 2014 meeting.’

Next was the pre-claim filed by B.Q. ‘alleging that Weinstein sexually assaulted her at the Montage Hotel on February 28, 2017.’

This is one of the most recent allegations against Weinstein, occurring at a time when he allegedly knew that stories about him were in the works thanks to his lawyer Lisa Bloom.

The fourth claim is one of the older, and more graphic, to have emerged in the court documents.

‘On July 17, 2018, P.R. asserted a claim against Weinstein that she was sexually assaulted and abused by Weinstein in the summer of 1995 in Dublin, Ireland,’ states the filing.

‘P.R. alleged sexual assault, rape, battery and trespass to the person.’

The last of the five pre-claims was filed by a woman known only as K.W., who ‘asserted a claim against Weinstein alleging sexual assaults and batteries by Weinstein in 2009, 2010 and 2017.’

This filing comes on the heels of similar suits which were submitted to the court by Chubb Indemnity Insurance Company, Steadfast Insurance and Axis Surplus Insurance Company.

‘This lawsuit arises from Weinstein’s claim for insurance coverage under certain primary liability policies (the ‘Aetna Primary Policies’), excess indemnity policies (the ‘Aetna Excess Indemnity Policies’) and umbrella liability policies (the ‘Aetna Umbrella Policies’) issued by Aetna to TWDC for policy periods beginning on June 30, 1993 and ending on June 30, 1998,’ explains the complaint.

It goes on to provide a number of arguments as to why Travelers has no responsibility to indemnify Weinstein.

This only came about after Travelers was contacted by the defendant via his legal counsel.

‘Weinstein, through his attorneys, notified Travelers on various dates of the Underlying Claims and requested that Travelers defend and indemnify Weinstein under, inter alia, the Aetna Policies,’ states the complaint.

Among the reasons for refusing Weinstein’s request in the complaint are:

  • ‘These alleged acts were not performed in the course and scope of Weinstein’s employment or in performance of any of Weinstein’s duties as an employee, officer or director of TWDC.’
  • ‘No coverage is available under the Aetna Policies for any ‘bodily injury’ or ‘personal injury’ unless it was fortuitous. The Underlying Claims allege that all of the damages sought are the non-fortuitous results of intentional and non-fortuitous acts by Weinstein.’
  • ‘The Aetna Policies provide coverage for ‘bodily injury’ caused by an ‘occurrence’, defined as ‘an accident.’ The alleged sexual assaults and harassment perpetrated by Weinstein were not accidents and, therefore, cannot constitute ‘occurrences’ as defined in the Aetna Policies.’
  • ‘There is no coverage under the Aetna Policies for any ‘bodily injury’ that was ‘expected or intended’ from the standpoint of the Insured. The Underlying Claims allege that all of the damages sought are the intended results of intentional acts by Weinstein.’
  • ‘No coverage is available under the Aetna Policies for any “bodily injury” that took place outside their respective policy periods. Many of the Underlying Claims are based on alleged ‘bodily injury’ that took place prior to the inception of or after the expiration of the policy periods of one or more of the Aetna Policies. The Aetna Primary Policies include an Abuse or Molestation Exclusion Endorsement, which excludes ‘bodily injury’ and ‘personal injury’ arising out of ‘(a) the actual or threatened abuse or molestation by anyone of any person while in the care, custody or control of any insured.’ There is no coverage under the Aetna Primary Policies for any ‘bodily injury’ arising out of the actual or threatened abuse or molestation by Weinstein of any person while in the care, custody or control of any insured.’

Weinstein was set to begin his trial in the criminal case against him that is being head by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance, but that was pushed back to November, as was the case being brought against him by Attorney General Barbara Underwood.

Weinstein filed a motion to dismiss the criminal charges against him back in August that contains a number of emails sent by one of his accusers between 2013 and 2017.

That woman, whose alleged rape by Weinstein in 2013 resulted in charges of rape in the first degree, rape in the third degree and predatory sexual assault, wrote in the emails that Weinstein ‘is the bar’ for the movie industry and comments on his ‘smile and beautiful eyes.

In one email, sent in 2014, the woman wrote: ‘There is no one else I would enjoy catching up with that understands me quite like you.’

Two weeks later, the woman wrote to accept Weinstein’s invitation to bring her mother along for a drink, saying: ‘She would love to meet you, plus you can see how good my genes are.’

Brafman argues that emails like that and the others he submitted along with the motion, should have been seen by members of the grand jury.

At the same time, he is also asking that the charge of Criminal Sex Act should be tossed because of inconsistencies.

‘Mr. Weinstein was indicted for an alleged act of forcible oral sex by someone who claims she does not remember when it occurred and asserts only that it was purportedly sometime during a three-month period in 2004, nearly fourteen years ago,’ reads the motion.

‘He was also indicted for the rape of [email accuser], whose extensive communications and contact immediately following the now claimed forcible rape instead reflect a consensual, intimate relationship with Mr. Weinstein in an exchange of more than 400 warm, complimentary and solicitous emails with an alleged rapist for more than four years after the alleged rape, never once in those 9 communications claiming to have ever been harmed by Mr. Weinstein.’

The final email, from 2017, is less effusive than the others submitted by Weinstein, reading: ‘I love you, always do. But hate feeling like a booty call.’

That came in response to an email from Weisntein in which he tried to schedule a meeting with the woman before heading off to a redacted city.

He wrote that he could meet in the afternoon, and when the woman responded to ask the address Weinstein replied with the name of a hotel, even though he was in New York at the time.

 

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