Prosecutors Drop One Count of Charges From Harvey Weinstein's Case

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has dropped one of the six criminal charges against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, The Associated Press reports.

On Tuesday, a judge in the case dismissed Lucia Evans' accusations. Evans accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in 2004. Prosecutors disclosed in a sealed Sept. 12 letter to the defense that they discovered a previous written account from Evans that suggested the encounter was consensual.

Prosecutors argue that the dropped charge does not affect the other charges against Harvey and that the case is moving "full steam ahead."

“Nothing in the disclosure relating to [Lucia Evans] impacts the strength of the remaining case and the remaining counts in the indictment, all five of them, including Predatory Sexual Assault,” said Danny Frost, Director of Communications for the Manhattan District Attorney.

“In short, we are moving full steam ahead. As we do with every case, we will follow the facts of law wherever they may lead, and protect those who are preyed upon as well as the integrity of the process. Those who place their trust in us and the justice system deserve no less," Frost said.

Weinstein still faces five felony charges, including criminal sexual act in the first degree and predatory assault. He has denied all of the criminal charges against him in both court and the media.

Weinstein defense attorney Benjamin Brafman accused Evans of committing perjury when she testified to the grand jury. "Sexual assault is a serious crime but falsely accusing someone of sexual assault is also a serious crime," Brafman said outside of court on Thursday.

He said that prosecutors discovered Evans' written account about her encounter with Weinstein from a fact-checker with The New Yorker. He said he would subpoena the magazine, as well as police interview records after claiming an NYPD detective "may have unfairly tainted these proceedings" while he prepared Evans for her testimony. That detective has been removed from the case.

Weinstein's defense also called the case "permanently and irreparably damaged" and said they would use the charge dismissal as grounds to dismiss the entire case.

Evans is one of the three women whose allegations form the structure of the criminal case. A lawyer for Evans said in a statement that the development does not mean she lied and that she was disappointed by the district attorney's decision to "abandon" Evans.

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"Let me be clear: the decision to throw away my client's sexual assault charges says nothing about Weinstein's guilt or innocence. Nor does it reflect on Lucia's consistent allegation that she was sexually assaulted with force by Harvey Weinstein," said attorney Carrie Goldberg. "It only speaks volumes about the Manhattan DA's office and its mishandling of my client's case."

Photo credit: Stephanie Keith / Stringer / Getty