#MeToo: Harvey Weinstein's motion to dismiss assault charges rejected
Harvey Weinstein is finding out the hard way that escaping one's consequences is not so easy, in wake of the #MeToo movement. The disgraced Hollywood mogul and movie producer, along with his lawyer, recently tried to have the charges against him dismissed, but the New York judge rejected this attempt. Further, he instructed the trial would proceed as scheduled. Read all about it here.
Weinstein proposed that the case be dismissed on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct. His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, pointed the finger at the Manhattan District Attorney for failing to disclose exculpatory evidence that points towards consensual relationships with accusers. However, Judge James Burke rejected these accusations and contentions, ruling that the trial would move forward, and set a hearing date on March 7, 2019.
Brafman expressed his obvious disappointment after the judge's ruling, but asserted that they must accept it. He outlined his plans for the trial, which would include a vigorous defense of what he believes is the flawed theory of Weinstein's case. Having earlier indicated that this case was probably the result of political pressure, Brafman seemed confident that Weinstein would be 'completely exonerated'.
Bennett Gershman, a former prosecutor at the Manhattan DA's office, and a law professor at Pace University, opined that the prosecution will likely strengthen their case by obtaining testimony from the additional women who accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Therefore, the next phase of pre-trial proceedings will largely include the prosecution and defense battling over the potential for trial testimony from these women.
Weinstein, who is facing 5 counts of rape and assault charges, could be the second prominent man who faces justice after Bill Cosby due to #MeToo. The movement showed its true power when Cosby, despite all his influence, faced justice based on a victim's testimony. If Weinstein too faces the consequences for commercializing predatory behavior, it will prove the continuing strength of #MeToo movement.