Judge James Burke ruled Thursday that the sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein can move forward. The New York judge rejected the disgraced producer’s lawyer Ben Brafman’s argument that the case should be thrown out. Weinstein was in attendance. The hearing lasted 10 minutes.
"The only reasonably prudent decision would be to stop this chaos now," Brafman said in a court filing of Detective Nicholas DiGaudio’s alleged interference with a witness.
Assistant District Attorney Kevin Wilson responded in filings, writing that "there is no possibility" that the allegations against DiGaudio "in any way impaired the integrity of the grand jury or prejudiced the defendant."
THE JUDGE’S STATEMENT
While Burke did not verbally discuss his reasoning in court, his written ruling was curt and definitive. Burke wrote, "this demanding test is met only where the prosecutor engaged in an overall pattern of bias and misconduct that is pervasive and typically willful."
He continued: "The Court finds that there is no basis for the defendant's claim of prosecutorial or law enforcement misconduct in the proceedings, or pervasive falsity in and around the Grand Jury presentation."
In recent months, the case has been imperiled by allegations of police misconduct. One of the six criminal charges against Weinstein was already through out, but the last five can remain, the judge ruled.
Weinstein has been accused by 80+ women of misconduct, including rape, but he has only been formally charged with forcibly performing oral sex on a woman in 2006, and raping a woman in 2013. He has consistently denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.
The criminal charges include two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of criminal sexual act in the first degree and one count each of rape in the first and third degree.
#METOO MOVEMENT SHOWS UP
Some of the bold-faced leaders of the #MeToo movement, which grew out of the Weinstein case, showed up at the courthouse.
Among the onlookers were Marisa Tomei, Amber Tamblyn and Kathy Najimy.