Harvey Weinstein’s defense team secures a win; can use email from California Governor Newsom’s wife in trial
Harvey Weinstein’s defense team secures a win by striking a deal with prosecutors on a major piece of evidence. Prosecutors can use emails from the California governor’s wife.
Ruling on Friday that prosecutors can use email messages from California Gov. Jerry Brown’s wife, Brown’s communications team and others for the same reasons that a judge allowed prosecutors to use similar messages for four other sex abuse victims last week, a federal appellate court in Manhattan said Friday.
But the court said the judge, who had barred the defense, was wrong to strike any of the emails during the first trial in which the charges against the disgraced movie mogul were allowed to go to the jury.
Weinstein was charged in New York with four counts, including criminal sexual act in the first degree, unlawful sexual acts, and sex abuse in the first degree. Earlier this week, the fourth victim was allowed to make his own case, including his own email exchanges with a Hollywood producer.
The appellate ruling was the last major hurdle for the defense, which worked hard to make sure a new trial did not occur.
‘‘He put himself in front of thousands of victims, and we want everyone to know that,’’ Weinstein’s attorney, Ben Brafman, told the New York Times Friday.
Weinstein was convicted in August on two counts of criminal sex act in the third degree, a felony, for allegedly groping a woman in the presence of Weinstein and his friend, actor Ronan Farrow. Prosecutors said the actor and his friend pressured the woman to perform oral sex on Weinstein.
Prosecutors said the emails to and from the governor’s wife were not new but instead came after prosecutors had already offered to use other communications from the governor’s wife in the opening statement of their closing argument of the September trial.
The emails had been used in the third trial before the judge struck them from testimony by Weinstein’s attorney, Daniel Goldman, and for other purposes.
The email exchanges were used in the fourth trial, which was scheduled to begin October 5 but was delayed. The judge said in his ruling that there was a ‘‘significant risk’