Is the case against Harvey Weinstein unraveling?

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul whose alleged sexual assaults sparked the international #MeToo m...

Posted: Oct 22, 2018 5:55 AM
Updated: Oct 22, 2018 5:55 AM

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul whose alleged sexual assaults sparked the international #MeToo movement, may be sentenced to a lifetime of shame and ridicule. Legal experts, however, now indicate he may never see the inside of a jail, let alone go to trial to face his accusers.

The case against Weinstein is "unraveling," high profile defense attorney and CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos says, citing the infighting between the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the New York Police Department as one of the main reasons he believes the Weinstein case won't go to trial.

*MeToo movement

Business figures

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal law

Criminal offenses

Discrimination

Harvey Weinstein

Law and legal system

Law enforcement

Misc organizations

New York Police Department

Policing and police forces

Sex crimes

Sexual assault

Sexual harassment

Sexual misconduct

Societal issues

Society

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Companies

Condé Nast

Magazines

Media industry

New Yorker

Publishing industry

"If you're on the defense here, you just sit back and watch them cannibalize themselves," said Geragos, who has represented high-profile clients, such as Michael Jackson and Colin Kaepernick.

In October 2017, The New Yorker released an audio recording of Weinstein speaking with model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez as part of a 2015 sting operation. Without consulting the DA's office, the NYPD set up the sting after Gutierrez told authorities that Weinstein groped her a day earlier.

In the recording, Weinstein makes potentially incriminating comments to Gutierrez, apologizing for touching her breast. Weinstein was not arrested or charged with a crime at the time.

"While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law," Chief Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman-Agnifilo said, defending the DA's decision not to prosecute Weinstein.

After the tape's release, the New York Police Department and the Manhattan DA's office traded public finger-pointing.

The infighting, Geragos says, is symbolic of this "political hot potato" case, where the lines of public opinion and in-court litigation are getting blurred.

"A criminal courtroom is not a pretty place," he said, "certainly not a place to litigate social justice change."

Ever since The New Yorker's bombshell report detailed allegations against Weinstein ranging from aggressive overtures to rape, his accusers and their supporters have called for justice.

The NYPD encouraged the public to call in tips related to Weinstein to the Crime Stoppers hotline, and investigators cast their nets wide with police investigating sexual assault accusations in New York, Los Angeles and London.

More than 80 women -- from those struggling to make it in the acting world to Hollywood A-listers, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek -- have publicly accused Weinstein of unwanted advances. Of the dozens of accusations, only three were deemed by prosecutors to be within relevant statute of limitations and credible enough to build a case against Weinstein.

The producer was charged in May with rape and sex abuse in cases involving three women. Despite credible claims, recent missteps by the former lead detective handling the New York sex crimes investigation against Weinstein highlight his defense attorney's position that the investigation is flawed.

Last week, Detective Nicholas DiGaudio was accused of coaching a witness, causing one of the six felony charges against Weinstein to be thrown out.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, has said his client maintains "he has never engaged in non-consensual sexual behavior with anyone."

The District Attorney's Office on Tuesday said DiGaudio told an accuser to delete cell phone messages prior to turning her phones over to authorities. This action could impact three of the five counts Weinstein is currently facing: predatory sexual assault and rape in the first and third degrees.

DiGaudio is now the subject of an internal NYPD investigation and has been removed from the Weinstein case. He has not responded to CNN's request for comment.

"These issues undermine the fundamental integrity of the judicial process," Brafman told CNN.

"This case is falling apart because it is a fundamentally bad case and bad cases eventually fall apart even when law enforcement officials try and stack the deck against the accused."

Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon told reporters she remains confident in the case against Weinstein.

"Nothing in this disclosure of count six impacts the strength of the case," Illuzzi-Orbon said. "We are moving full steam ahead."

The NYPD also disputed the notion that the case is in trouble.

"The evidence against Mr. Weinstein is compelling and strong," a spokesperson for the department told CNN. "The NYPD will continue its work with the prosecution to deliver justice for the courageous survivors who have bravely come forward."

Weinstein is expected to appear for proceedings at the New York Supreme Court on December 20.

Terre Haute
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 55°
Robinson
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 51°
Indianapolis
Scattered Clouds
51° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 51°
Rockville
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 44°
Casey
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 54°
Brazil
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 55°
Marshall
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 55°
Sunny and breezy
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Saturday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Casey's General Store works to help Wabash Valley veterans and their families

Image

Here's the perfect Halloween morning breakfast idea

Image

North Central-Perry Central

Image

North Knox-Evansville Mater Dei

Image

Linton-North Posey

Image

Sullivan-Vincennes Lincoln

Image

Washington-Edgewood

Image

TH South-Cathedral

Image

Progress is moving along with the new THPD headquarters

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 408648

Reported Deaths: 9994
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1864055469
DuPage24696619
Lake21819518
Will19946439
Kane18030351
Winnebago11084186
St. Clair8247224
Madison7554158
McHenry6953121
Champaign658528
Unassigned6324283
Peoria489378
Sangamon445064
McLean439237
Rock Island434995
Kankakee368281
Macon355556
Kendall293830
Tazewell290559
LaSalle265268
DeKalb260543
Adams213624
Coles211140
Boone203825
Williamson201661
Vermilion189311
Clinton187731
Whiteside169130
Jackson163726
Knox141821
Randolph135815
Ogle13548
Effingham12854
Stephenson11829
Marion117023
Grundy10867
Franklin108110
Morgan103226
Monroe101630
Bureau98617
Jefferson97352
Christian88831
Henry8797
Macoupin85411
Lee8402
McDonough81822
Union81025
Douglas7879
Shelby74612
Livingston73012
Woodford72315
Fayette72024
Crawford6766
Montgomery66716
Logan6454
Saline63711
Fulton6222
Warren5619
Jo Daviess5569
Iroquois53919
Bond5329
Wayne53217
Carroll49013
Jersey48521
Perry48516
Cass47411
Moultrie4706
Pike4237
Johnson3920
Lawrence3628
Richland34718
Mason3465
Hancock3454
Washington3392
Clay33514
Greene32917
Clark32818
Cumberland3136
Mercer3116
White2895
De Witt2826
Piatt2822
Jasper28010
Wabash2566
Pulaski2461
Ford21716
Menard1911
Marshall1713
Edgar16711
Massac1652
Alexander1471
Hamilton1432
Henderson1360
Brown1210
Scott1160
Edwards1140
Gallatin1132
Putnam1010
Schuyler1011
Stark963
Calhoun700
Hardin580
Pope441
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 175893

Reported Deaths: 4286
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion27107796
Lake15351372
St. Joseph10252178
Elkhart9964148
Allen9275235
Hamilton6799122
Vanderburgh648473
Tippecanoe436516
Porter379753
Hendricks3599139
Monroe351538
Johnson3506133
Delaware332081
Clark322467
Vigo296943
Madison275899
LaPorte256267
Cass237426
Kosciusko223529
Warrick214066
Floyd196269
Howard178467
Wayne165634
Dubois158827
Marshall157830
Bartholomew155359
Grant145340
Henry143830
Boone137850
Hancock132444
Noble131135
Jackson126920
Dearborn111028
Lawrence106238
Morgan106040
Clinton100816
Gibson99612
Shelby97937
Daviess97336
Knox91010
Fayette87522
DeKalb86713
LaGrange86115
Harrison85924
Putnam81717
Posey8138
Jasper7665
Miami7355
Steuben7189
Montgomery69422
White67016
Adams6518
Greene61138
Scott58716
Decatur58339
Ripley5338
Whitley5326
Wabash52610
Wells51712
Clay5137
Huntington5135
Starke5029
Sullivan49114
Randolph48811
Spencer4466
Orange44125
Perry44114
Fulton42510
Jefferson4235
Washington4223
Jennings40913
Franklin40626
Jay3996
Pike37618
Carroll37013
Fountain3623
Tipton29823
Rush2964
Vermillion2951
Blackford2766
Parke2754
Newton25211
Owen2291
Martin2100
Pulaski1884
Crawford1751
Brown1563
Ohio1477
Union1300
Benton1200
Switzerland1080
Warren1081
Unassigned0236