Harvey Weinstein: Prosecutors defend lack of action

12 October, 2017, 14:55 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Cyrus Vance Trump Lawyer

Vance also insisted that his investigation of possible criminal charges against Ivanka Trump and her brother Donald Jr. was not influenced by donations to his campaign.

"The lawyer and Vance both say Boies had no involvement in 2015 when police investigated a model's accusation that Weinstein grabbed her breasts during a meeting in NY".

"Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has taken thousands of dollars in donations over the years from David Boies, a top lawyer in NY whose clients have included Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election", the AP reports.

Prosecutors have defended their decision not to take action against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein after a woman complained about his behaviour in 2015.

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance spoke at an event at John Jay College in Midtown on Wednesday.

"We really are based on facts, not what people think about it, whether people like Harvey or not", Vance said.

The International Business Times reported last week that Vance had received $10,000 in campaign contributions from Weinstein's lawyer David Boies after the decision, and more than $50,000 since 2005.

Joan Vollero, communications director for the Manhattan District Attorney's office, said the office didn't consider Abramowitz's donation a conflict of interest because he didn't personally represent anyone before the DA's office at the time.

After the complaint was made in 2015, the NYPD - without our knowledge or input - arranged a controlled call and meeting between the complainant and Mr. Weinstein.

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Weinstein stands accused of rape by multiple women, according to an explosive new story by The New Yorker magazine. On the tape, when she asks why he touched her breast, Weinstein responds, "I'm used to that" and "I won't do it again". This evidence, along with other statements and timeline information was presented to the office of the Manhattan District Attorney.

"While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under NY law, which requires prosecutors to establish criminal intent", Friedman said in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon.

Vance told reporters on Wednesday that while Weinstein's comments caught on the tape of a New York Police Department sting were offensive, the office did not have enough evidence to prosecute a case. "It's obviously sickening, but at the end of the day we operate in the court of law, not in the court of public opinion".

They say the "horrifying" audio "was insufficient to prove a crime under NY law" which left prosecutors with "no choice but to conclude the criminal investigation without charges". In the wake of the report, Vance, who is running for his third term in October, returned the donation.

Vance denied in the report that the dropping of the investigation was a quid pro quo for the contributions. "Contributions are unfortunately a part of running for office".

The NYPD blasted in turn Vance's office, insisting detectives used "well established investigative techniques" and that the audio "was just one aspect of the case" again Weinstein.

He has been an advocate for sentencing reform and was one of the loudest voices opposing strong encryption for personal phones.

The office of the NY governor did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokeswoman for Schneiderman declined to comment.

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