There’s no evidence that the witness in question actually deleted anything. On the contrary, she is apparently the one who told prosecutors this had occurred. From the LA Times:
NYPD Det. Nicholas DiGaudio, who led Weinstein into a courthouse in handcuffs earlier this year, gave the advice after the woman said she was concerned some of her personal communications could wind up in a court file, records show…
It was not immediately clear which of Weinstein’s accusers was involved in the latest development. The woman described in the letter made public Wednesday said that she had consulted with DiGaudio before turning over her cellphones to the district attorney’s office, according to the letter.
During that conversation, DiGaudio said the accuser should “delete anything she did not want anyone to see” before providing any cellphones to the prosecution.
“We just won’t tell Joan,” DiGaudio said, according to the letter, referring to the lead prosecutor, Illuzzi-Osborn.
Prosecutors said they learned what had happened during a phone call last week and immediately sent a letter to Weinstein’s attorney informing him of the issue. As you might imagine, Weinstein’s lawyer is claiming this casts doubt on the whole case:
“This new development even further undermines the integrity of an already deeply flawed Indictment of Mr Weinstein,” his attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement.
But NBC 4 in New York reports that the president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association defended the detective’s actions as reasonable:
“The Manhattan DA’s office needs to enter the 21st century,” said DEA President Michael Palladino in a statement. “This is the age of technology. People keep loads of personal info on their phones that they prefer remains confidential.”
“A woman should not have to surrender confidential intimate information that’s immaterial to the case to defend herself against a sexual predator,” he continued. “That’s being victimized twice. Detective DiGaudio was sensitive to that.”
Last week, another allegation against Weinstein was dropped by prosecutors after a witness appeared to contradict one accuser’s story. Last year, Lucia Evans told Ronan Farrow that Weinstein had forced her to perform oral sex on him during a meeting in 2004. But Evans’ friend told prosecutors that she had agreed to the sex in exchange for an acting role. Evans also apparently wrote a letter to the man who is now her husband which offered a somewhat different account of events, raising further questions about the accuracy of her account.
Problems aside, the NYPD said in a statement given to the LA Times that “the evidence against Mr. Weinstein is compelling and strong.”