Weinstein lawyer asks court to dismiss sex crimes case

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein- shown here being escorted in handcuffs in July into New York's State Supreme Court for arraignment on charges of sex crimes- is now trying to have the case thrown out

Weinstein is also charged with sexual assaults involving two other women, in 2004 and 2006. They include film actress Rose McGowan, who said Weinstein raped her in 1997 in Utah; Sopranos actress Annabella Sciorra, who said he raped her in her NY apartment in 1992; and the Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe, who said he attacked her in a London hotel room in 2008.

The woman and Weinstein communicated over a four-year period after the date she said he raped her, Weinstein's lawyers said.

In a motion filed in NY state court in Manhattan, Weinstein's lawyers said the emails showed "a long-term, consensual, intimate relationship" between Weinstein and an unnamed woman who has accused him of raping her in 2013.

Ben Brafman, one of America's most celebrated defense attorneys who helped former International Monetary Fund boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn escape criminal prosecution for alleged sexual assault in 2011, called for the entire indictment against Weinstein to be dismissed, based on the emails and a series of technicalities.

Weinstein faces six sex crimes charges in NY, involving three accusers.

The new documents were filed yesterday in a bankruptcy court in Delaware. Weinstein did not use a personal email, but one from The Wienstein Company. Eventually his lawyers obtained them but the bankruptcy judge gave a protective order prohibiting them from disseminating the emails.

The allegations of three of the women underpin the criminal case: former actress Lucia Evans, former production assistant Mimi Haleyi and the anonymous accuser.

Among the charges is one count of first-degree rape and another for third-degree rape, both in connection with one alleged encounter on March 18, 2013, at a hotel on Manhattan's East Side.

More than 75 women have accused Weinstein, who was one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, of wrongdoing as allegations detailed in Pulitzer Prize-winning stories last October in The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine swelled into the #MeToo movement.

Weinstein is also is facing additional sex-assault charges, but those are not addressed in yesterday's court filing.

"The pending indictment against Mr Weinstein must be dismissed at the pretrial stage because it is legally infirm based on the District Attorney's failure to provide exculpatory email evidence to the Grand Jury". His lawyers say that amounts to misconduct - failure to present crucial evidence - and warrants dismissal of the indictment.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty and has said through his attorneys that any sexual encounters he had with women over the years were consensual.

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