After being indicted on two counts of rape and a single count of criminal sex acts, Harvey Weinstein is denying one of the rape charges, contesting that the woman involved was a consenting partner, not a rape victim.
The disgraced producer says there are around 40 emails that will show he didn't force one of his accusers to have sex with him, TMZ reports. In an effort to dismiss one of the rape charges against Weinstein, his lawyers filed legal documents disclosing the emails that were reportedly sent just after the alleged sexual assault.
The emails come from Weinstein's professional email address at The Weinstein Company. His lawyers obtained access to the emails after he was fired, but a bankruptcy judge issued a protective order prohibiting them from the disseminating emails. The lawyers now want permission to use the emails as an exhibit in a motion to dismiss the indictment on grounds that the Manhattan District Attorney knew of them but never presented them to the jury that indicted Weinstein.
Additional charges were brought upon Weinstein in July after the Manhattan District Attorney's office filed new charges, which included a count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and a forcible sexual act against another woman in 2006. Prosecutors also added two counts of predatory sexual assault, which is a Class A-II felony.
"A Manhattan Grand Jury has now indicted Harvey Weinstein on some of the most serious sexual offenses that exist under New York’s Penal Law,” read a statement from district attorney Cyrus Vance. “This indictment is the result of the extraordinary courage exhibited by the survivors who have come forward. Our investigation continues."
If found guilty on all charges, the 66-year-old could find himself behind bars for life.
“This indictment brings the defendant another step closer to accountability for the crimes of violence with which he is now charged,” Vance Jr. said after the first indictment in May. “Our office will try this case not in the press, but in the courtroom where it belongs. The defendant’s recent assault on the integrity of the survivors and the legal process is predictable. We are confident that when the jury hears the evidence, it will reject these attacks out of hand.”
Weinstein's attorney, Benjamin Brafman, stated at the time that one of the women cited in the charges was someone Weinstein had a "consensual sexual relationship" with for five years before and several years after the alleged rape.
Weinstein pleaded not guilty to all of the original charges at the beginning of June.
Brafman maintained Weinstein's innocence on all charges at the time of the May indictment. “We remind everyone that an Indictment is merely a formal accusation,” he said. “Mr Weinstein intends to enter a plea of Not Guilty and vigorously defend against these unsupported allegations that he strongly denies. We will soon formally move to dismiss the indictment and if this case actually proceeds to trial, we expect Mr Weinstein to be acquitted.”1comments
In addition to his charges in New York, which are being investigated by federal prosecutors the Manhattan D.A. and the NYPD, Weinstein is also being probed by the LAPD, which sent three cases to the Los Angeles County District Attorney in February. U.K. police also continue their own investigation.
Weinstein is also currently fighting nearly a dozen lawsuits from some of the 80 women who have publicly accused him of sexual assault and more.