The 66-year-old disgraced Hollywood mogul still faces several charges, stemming from allegations he raped a woman in 2013 and forcibly performed a sex act on another in 2006. He has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.
More than 75 women have come forward accusing Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
The charge dismissed Thursday involved a claim made by Lucia Evans, alleging she was assaulted in 2004.
SEE IT: Harvey Weinstein Walks Into Manhattan Criminal Court
In an expose published in The New Yorker one year ago Wednesday, Evans accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex when they met alone in his office to discuss her fledgling acting career. At the time, Evans was a 21-year-old college student. She said she had initially met Weinstein at a restaurant in Manhattan earlier that summer.
Prosecutors said in a letter unsealed Thursday that they learned weeks ago that a female friend who was with Evans the night she met Weinstein had given a police detective a contradictory account of what happened.
The woman, prosecutors said, told the detective in February that Weinstein had offered them money to flash their breasts during the restaurant encounter. They initially declined but Evans later told her she had gone ahead and exposed herself to the film producer in a hallway.
The woman also told the detective that sometime after Evans’ office meeting with Weinstein, she had suggested what happened was consensual. Weinstein had promised to get her an acting job if she agreed to perform oral sex and she agreed.
According to the witness, who was not named in the court filing, Evans had been drinking and “appeared to be upset, embarrassed and shaking” when she told the story.
Prosecutors said the police detective didn’t share any of that information with prosecutors and urged the woman not to reveal details, saying “less is more,” and that she had no obligation to cooperate with investigators.
Prosecutors also disclosed that they had discovered a draft email that Evans had written three years ago to a man who is now her husband that “describes details of the sexual assault that differ from the account” she provided to investigators.
Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon told the judge that prosecutors wouldn’t oppose dismissal of the count in the case involving Evans. She insisted the rest of the case, involving two other accusers, was strong.
“In short, your honor, we are moving full steam ahead,” she said.
Watch: Lucia Evan’s Lawyer Reacts To Ruling
Evans’ lawyer, Carrie Goldberg, furiously said outside court that her client had been abandoned by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. for no reason.
“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,” she said in a written statement. “It only speaks volumes about the Manhattan DA’s office and its mishandling of my client’s case.”
She insisted Evans has told the truth and disputed that she either showed Weinstein her breasts or misled investigators.
Watch: Harvey Weinstein’s Lawyer Reacts To Ruling
Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told the judge he believed Evans had lied both to the grand jury and to The New Yorker about her encounter with Weinstein.
“The integrity of these proceedings has been compromised,” he said. Outside court, he suggested that Evans should be prosecuted criminally for perjury.
“This is an attack on the fundamental integrity of the grand jury process. If you have a person willing to commit perjury in the grand jury, that is as serious as the crime of sexual assault because it undermines the fairness of the process for all of us.”
Brafman identified the detective in the case as Nicholas DiGaudio. A message left on a phone used by the detective in the past wasn’t immediately returned.
““The NYPD, working with its partner the New York District Attorney, is fully confident in the overall case it has pursued against Mr. Weinstein. The evidence shows that the criminal case against him is strong. The NYPD will continue to assist the prosecution any way it can to ensure justice is achieved for these brave survivors,” the NYPD said in a statement.
Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is free on $1 million bail.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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