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Harvey Weinstein lawyer seeks dismissal of sex assault charges

A text from one of the ex-movie mogul's alleged victims calls into question all other accusations, Weinstein’s lawyer said.

Attorney Benjamin Brafman, right, with Harvey Weinstein in

Attorney Benjamin Brafman, right, with Harvey Weinstein in October, has asked a Manhattan judge to dismiss sex assault charges against the former movie producer.     Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer asked a Manhattan judge Monday to dismiss all sex-assault charges against the ex-movie-mogul and disclosed a new message that could damage the prosecution case from an alleged victim seeking friendly contact with Weinstein after the date she claims he attacked her.

Mimi Haleyi, a former Weinstein production assistant and one of three women involved in rape and assault charges filed by the Manhattan district attorney, texted Weinstein’s phone in 2007, seven months after he allegedly assaulted her, according to defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman.

“Hi! Just wondering if u have any news on whether Harvey will have time to see me before he leaves? X Miriam,” the text said, according to Brafman, who added, “This message makes clear that Mimi Haleyi wished to continue seeing Mr. Weinstein even after the alleged assault.”

Weinstein, 66, was the subject of news reports starting last year saying he used his film industry power to sexually abuse dozens of women. He was criminally charged with making actress Lucia Evans perform oral sex in 2004, assaulting Haleyi in 2006, and raping an unnamed woman in 2013.

Prosecutors dropped the charges involving Evans last month after disclosing that lead NYPD Det. Nicholas DiGaudio covered up a statement from a friend revealing that Evans had admitted to her the 2004 encounter was consensual.

The detective also told the alleged rape victim, who had carried on a correspondence with Weinstein after the claimed attack, that she could delete personal items from her cellphone before turning it over to prosecutors, but should keep the deletions secret.

Disclosure of Haleyi’s text added new ammunition to possible defense attacks on the credibility of the two remaining accusers. The woman who charged Weinstein with rape, according to earlier filings, sent dozens of affectionate messages for months after the claimed attack, including texts like “I love you, always do” and “Miss you big guy.”

Brafman, in Monday’s motion, argued that the remaining charges should be dismissed because the grand jury had been polluted by “perjury” involving Evans and kept in the dark about inconsistent e-mails sent by both Haleyi and the rape accuser.

At a minimum, Brafman said, Judge James Burke should conduct a hearing on misconduct by the NYPD and the prosecutors.

“We believe the impairment of the grand jury proceedings and the concomitant prejudice to Mr. Weinstein are evident,” he wrote.

The district attorney’s office declined to comment on the latest motion.


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