WEATHER AUTHORITY : Dense Fog Advisory View Alerts

Is the case against Harvey Weinstein unraveling?

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul whose alleged sexual assaults sparked the international #MeToo m...

Posted: Oct 22, 2018 4:55 AM
Updated: Oct 22, 2018 4:55 AM

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie mogul whose alleged sexual assaults sparked the international #MeToo movement, may be sentenced to a lifetime of shame and ridicule. Legal experts, however, now indicate he may never see the inside of a jail, let alone go to trial to face his accusers.

The case against Weinstein is "unraveling," high profile defense attorney and CNN legal analyst Mark Geragos says, citing the infighting between the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the New York Police Department as one of the main reasons he believes the Weinstein case won't go to trial.

*MeToo movement

Business figures

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal law

Criminal offenses

Discrimination

Harvey Weinstein

Law and legal system

Law enforcement

Misc organizations

New York Police Department

Policing and police forces

Sex crimes

Sexual assault

Sexual harassment

Sexual misconduct

Societal issues

Society

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Companies

Condé Nast

Magazines

Media industry

New Yorker

Publishing industry

"If you're on the defense here, you just sit back and watch them cannibalize themselves," said Geragos, who has represented high-profile clients, such as Michael Jackson and Colin Kaepernick.

In October 2017, The New Yorker released an audio recording of Weinstein speaking with model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez as part of a 2015 sting operation. Without consulting the DA's office, the NYPD set up the sting after Gutierrez told authorities that Weinstein groped her a day earlier.

In the recording, Weinstein makes potentially incriminating comments to Gutierrez, apologizing for touching her breast. Weinstein was not arrested or charged with a crime at the time.

"While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law," Chief Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman-Agnifilo said, defending the DA's decision not to prosecute Weinstein.

After the tape's release, the New York Police Department and the Manhattan DA's office traded public finger-pointing.

The infighting, Geragos says, is symbolic of this "political hot potato" case, where the lines of public opinion and in-court litigation are getting blurred.

"A criminal courtroom is not a pretty place," he said, "certainly not a place to litigate social justice change."

Ever since The New Yorker's bombshell report detailed allegations against Weinstein ranging from aggressive overtures to rape, his accusers and their supporters have called for justice.

The NYPD encouraged the public to call in tips related to Weinstein to the Crime Stoppers hotline, and investigators cast their nets wide with police investigating sexual assault accusations in New York, Los Angeles and London.

More than 80 women -- from those struggling to make it in the acting world to Hollywood A-listers, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek -- have publicly accused Weinstein of unwanted advances. Of the dozens of accusations, only three were deemed by prosecutors to be within relevant statute of limitations and credible enough to build a case against Weinstein.

The producer was charged in May with rape and sex abuse in cases involving three women. Despite credible claims, recent missteps by the former lead detective handling the New York sex crimes investigation against Weinstein highlight his defense attorney's position that the investigation is flawed.

Last week, Detective Nicholas DiGaudio was accused of coaching a witness, causing one of the six felony charges against Weinstein to be thrown out.

Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, has said his client maintains "he has never engaged in non-consensual sexual behavior with anyone."

The District Attorney's Office on Tuesday said DiGaudio told an accuser to delete cell phone messages prior to turning her phones over to authorities. This action could impact three of the five counts Weinstein is currently facing: predatory sexual assault and rape in the first and third degrees.

DiGaudio is now the subject of an internal NYPD investigation and has been removed from the Weinstein case. He has not responded to CNN's request for comment.

"These issues undermine the fundamental integrity of the judicial process," Brafman told CNN.

"This case is falling apart because it is a fundamentally bad case and bad cases eventually fall apart even when law enforcement officials try and stack the deck against the accused."

Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon told reporters she remains confident in the case against Weinstein.

"Nothing in this disclosure of count six impacts the strength of the case," Illuzzi-Orbon said. "We are moving full steam ahead."

The NYPD also disputed the notion that the case is in trouble.

"The evidence against Mr. Weinstein is compelling and strong," a spokesperson for the department told CNN. "The NYPD will continue its work with the prosecution to deliver justice for the courageous survivors who have bravely come forward."

Weinstein is expected to appear for proceedings at the New York Supreme Court on December 20.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35419

Reported Deaths: 1230
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds290851
DeSoto190019
Madison144638
Jones120349
Harrison113616
Rankin108715
Neshoba104577
Forrest99343
Lauderdale96381
Scott81915
Jackson77519
Washington72213
Copiah65315
Leake63520
Lee61222
Oktibbeha61128
Grenada5949
Warren59421
Holmes58641
Wayne56218
Yazoo5536
Lowndes54813
Lamar5347
Leflore53156
Lincoln52935
Pike49920
Lafayette4974
Sunflower4778
Monroe45635
Panola4486
Covington4355
Bolivar40518
Simpson3933
Attala38424
Newton37510
Tate35213
Adams35120
Pontotoc3466
Marion32712
Claiborne30111
Chickasaw29719
Winston29511
Pearl River28832
Noxubee2788
Jasper2776
Marshall2773
Walthall2627
Clay25811
Union25211
Smith24612
Clarke22325
Coahoma2226
Lawrence2092
Yalobusha2079
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18111
Montgomery1713
Calhoun1645
Humphreys16310
Itawamba1468
Tippah14511
Hancock14413
Webster13411
Jefferson1263
Tunica1233
Jefferson Davis1204
Prentiss1204
George1163
Greene11310
Amite1103
Alcorn1002
Quitman991
Wilkinson989
Tishomingo971
Perry874
Choctaw754
Stone742
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton460
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 75°
Columbus
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 72°
Oxford
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
Starkville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 70°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather