CBS: Manhattan DA dropping another Weinstein rape case?

Is this strike two for Cyrus Vance and Manhattan prosecutors? New York police detectives blame Vance and his office for not pursuing a 2015 sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein after getting model-actress Ambra Battilana Gutierrez to wear a wire and capture damning admissions from Weinstein. An assistant DA insisted that it was the NYPD’s fault for not getting more evidence against Weinstein, but asked other victims to come forward. Voilà! Along comes actress Paz De La Huerta with more credible allegations.


And it looks like the Manhattan DA is going to take another pass, too:

CBS News has learned that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office informed people involved in the case that they are not looking to move forward in an investigation centered around rape allegations against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

The allegations were brought by actress Paz de la Huerta, who says Weinstein raped her twice in 2010 at her New York City apartment.

If, in fact, the DA has decided not to move forward with a criminal case, it would be a stark change from last month, when the New York Police Department announced the allegations were “credible” as they gathered evidence for a possible arrest warrant. The district attorney also recently appointed a senior sex crimes prosecutor to the case.

Worth noting (again) from David Sirota and Jay Cassano at the International Business Times:

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer delivered $10,000 to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. in 2015, in the months after Vance’s office decided not to prosecute Weinstein over sexual assault allegations, according to an International Business Times review of campaign finance documents. That contribution from attorney David Boies — who previously headlined a fundraiser for Vance — was a fraction of the more than $182,000 that Boies, his son and his law partners have delivered to the Democrat during his political career.

Boies has done legal work for Weinstein since at least 2005, and his website at his law firm says his clients include The Weinstein Company. …

Among the allegations that the newspaper recounted was one in 2015, in which Italian model Ambra Battilana accused Weinstein of groping her. Battilana contacted law enforcement officials, but in April of 2015, Vance’s office declined to bring charges against Weinstein, saying that “after analyzing the available evidence, including multiple interviews with both parties, a criminal charge is not supported.”

Soon after, Boies made a big donation to Vance: Campaign finance records show that Boies gave the district attorney’s campaign $10,000 on August 24, 2015. In all, Boies has given $55,000 to Vance’s campaigns since he first began running for office in 2008. Boies co-chaired a 2008 fundraiser for Vance. Since Vance began running for district attorney, Boies’ son Christopher has given Vance’s campaigns $35,000. Boies’ law firm partners who gave to Vance included Jonathan Schiller ($26,000), Nicholas Gravante ($4,000) and Robert Silver ($62,785). Silver passed away in 2015.


Considering this track record, another demurral would hardly be surprising. Vance and his team had Weinstein on tape admitting the earlier assault on Battilana Gutierrez and didn’t want to take Big Harv to trial. Go figure that they don’t want to proceed with another case, even now that Weinstein has fallen from his power pedestal. He’s still got lots of money, and he’s still got the same high-powered attorneys that Vance knows so well.

So far, the DA’s office tells CBS that they can’t comment on an open investigation. If they keep it “open” forever, though, that would be pretty convenient for Vance. If the NYPD was angry over the Battilana Gutierrez case, they may revolt over the De La Huerta case. How long before a law enforcement agency begins to take a look at the DA’s office instead of Weinstein?

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