A judge dismissed one of six criminal charges against Harvey Weinstein on Thursday after prosecutors said they discovered inconsistencies in statements made by one of his accusers.
The development in the Supreme Court of the State in Manhattan marked a victory for the film producer who was once powerful, and raised questions about the impact that the disclosure would have on the wider case against him.
Lucia Evans, a marketing executive, had alleged that Mr. Weinstein forced her to have oral sex with him in 2004, during a casting meeting at the Miramax office in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan.
In court, Weinstein's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, argued that the charges related to Ms. Evans 'allegations should be dismissed because the grand jury had not been given substantial proof of Ms. Evans' accusation before deciding. accuse him.
The chief prosecutor, Joan Illuzzi, did not object, and Judge James Burke dismissed the charge related to Ms. Evans' indictment. The other five charges are still standing.
The most recent development in the case will present challenges for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. Mr. Brafman can use the dismissal of the case in Ms. Evans' case to discredit the entire prosecution in a trial and throw doubts on two. other accusers
Last week, police spokesman Phillip Walzak said the department "fully relies on the general case that he has prosecuted against Mr. Weinstein," the evidence shows that the criminal case against him is strong. helping the prosecution in the best way possible to ensure that justice is achieved for these brave survivors. "
Ms. Evans was an aspiring actress and college student when Mr. Weinstein approached her at a club in New York, she told The New Yorker. The film producer and an assistant called to schedule a meeting. She received him in his office during the day, he told The New Yorker, and it was then that he said that Weinstein forced his head to perform oral sex with him, despite his continuing objections.
Mr. Weinstein, 66, had been charged with a first-degree sexual assault in the assault of Ms. Evans. He was charged with criminal charges for the assault of three women, including one in 2013 and another in 2006. Mr. Weinstein still faces two counts of predatory sexual assault, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Mr. Weinstein has denied the irregularities and maintains that the relations were consensual.
More than 80 women have accused. Mr. Weinstein of sexual harassment or assault and said they were attacked after being lured to his office or hotel rooms with the impression that they would discuss possible acting roles. The avalanche of accusations spurred the #MeToo global movement. Since then, women have publicly shared their experiences of sexual harassment and assault by powerful men in the workplace.