Harvey Weinstein and his legal team successfully dismissed one of the 11 sexual assault charges against the former producer on Thursday, a judge ruled.
The dismissal of the charge marks a small victory for the suspect and his team; however, prosecutors can still amend the charge and bring an updated version to court. Weinstein was convicted of sexual assault in New York last year.
Weinstein Dismissed One Sexual Assault Charge
Weinstein's 11 sexual assaults included four counts of rape and the suspect has pleaded not guilty to all charges last week in court. The dismissal of the charge came after Weinstein's legal team presented arguments that three of the 11 charges were beyond the statute of limitations. They requested the judge to dismiss all three, but only one was granted, which was a charge for sexual battery and restraint.
One of Weinstein's attorneys, Mark Werksman, said that Count 5 was dead and later celebrated the judge's decision, arguing that the suspect's legal team was off to a good start. In a statement, Werksman noted that Weinstein and his team were grateful for the decision of the judge, Newsweek reported.
Werksman said that the charges against Weinstein were baseless and should never have been brought to court. He and the rest of the suspect's legal team are looking forward to the dismissal of future proceedings.
Weinstein was serving a 23-year prison sentence in New York before facing the charges in Los Angeles. A jury found the suspect guilty of rape and of forcible performing oral sex.
Deputy District Attorney Paul Thompson said that prosecutors will work on amending the indictment and refiling it in court later on Thursday. That would mean that Weinstein would have to be arraigned once again despite pleading not guilty last week to the original indictment.
Judge Lisa B. Lench, who was the preceding judge that ruled the dismissal of the charge, supported the argument of prosecutors on two other courts, which reportedly occurred from 2004 to 2005. The judge disagreed with defense attorney Alan Jackson's argument that the counts should also be thrown out due to statute limitations, NBC News reported.
Charges Against the Suspect
The dismissed charge detailed an incident that occurred at a Beverly Hills hotel room on May 11, 2010. In April 2020, prosecutors first filed the charge of sexual battery against Weinstein, which was just within the 10-year deadline declared under the statute.
Weinstein's defense team requested that the judge not allow videos or photographs of their client to be taken during the hearing as he was wearing what they called a "rumpled" jail suit. The legal experts said the suspect's attire made him look guilty. However, Lench denied the requests for restrictions on videos and photographs, CNN reported.
The Los Angeles charges were filed as additional counts by prosecutors and included four counts each of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation, two counts of sexual battery by restraints, and one count of sexual penetration by use of force, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said.