Criminal Case Against Harvey Weinstein Will Move Forward

Dec 20, 2018
Originally published on December 24, 2018 11:35 am
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The case of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is heading to trial. Last year, dozens of women accused Weinstein of rape, assault and harassment. He's charged with five counts of sexual assault relating to two different women. Weinstein's lawyers had argued that the case should be dismissed, as NPR's Rose Friedman reports.

ROSE FRIEDMAN, BYLINE: The courtroom was packed with media and activists, but there wasn't much action for them to hear. Most of it took place quietly between lawyers and the judge. All Judge James Burke said in open court was that pre-trial hearings would begin in early March. That was the signal that he had denied the defense's motion to dismiss the case. For the past few months, Weinstein's lawyers have argued that their client is innocent. They've taken issue with the NYPD's investigation, the grand jury, the Manhattan district attorney and the women accusing Weinstein, deflecting attention from their client. Today outside the courthouse, Weinstein's lawyer, Ben Brafman, also held the #MeToo movement responsible for pressuring the DA to bring charges.

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BEN BRAFMAN: If the #MeToo movement helps level the playing field for women, then we are strongly supporting that movement. A movement should not, however, be permitted to push an indictment that is deeply flawed, as we believe this movement has done in this case.

FRIEDMAN: Attorney Gloria Allred, who represents one of Weinstein's accusers, focused the blame back on Weinstein.

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GLORIA ALLRED: This indictment was based on evidence and testimony before the grand jury. It was not based on the #MeToo movement.

FRIEDMAN: Allred was joined by a group of women, including actresses Marisa Tomei and Amber Tamblyn, from the organization Time's Up. Their president, Lisa Borders, said she was relieved that the motion was denied.

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LISA BORDERS: Today, here in New York, we saw the first steps toward justice.

FRIEDMAN: Defense attorneys say they'll continue fighting vigorously. They'll next appear in court in March. Rose Friedman, NPR News, New York.

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