Harvey Weinstein Seeks Dismissal of Rape Charge Against Him

Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys plan to request that a Manhattan judge dismiss the most serious sexual assault charge against Weinstein, according to a new court filing.

The lawyers are planning to argue that one of the accusers in Weinstein’s case had an ongoing romantic relationship with the former movie mogul, ABC News reports. His lawyers intend to argue that the first-degree rape charge is invalid because his relationship with the unnamed accuser continued after the date of the alleged sexual assault.

In order to prove that the relationship between Weinstein and his accuser was consensual, the attorneys plan to submit to the judge a series of emails that show correspondence with him and the accuser.

According to NBC News, the new documents were filed on Wednesday in a bankruptcy court in Delaware and the attorneys contend that the correspondence would clear his name.

via Jefferson Siegel / Pool via AP

The emails were sent and received through Weinstein’s official company email account. After Weinstein was fired from the company, his lawyers gained access to the emails, but a bankruptcy judge overseeing the dissolution of the Weinstein Company banned the attorneys from distributing them via a protective order, ABC News reports.

The lawyers intend to urge the criminal court to dismiss the charge “for, among other reasons, the failure of the prosecutor to advise the grand jury of the substance of exculpatory communications made by the one of three complaining witnesses underlying the counts of the indictment and contained in the e-mails sought for use here.”

“It is Mr. Weinstein’s belief that these e-mails are material and exculpatory and the failure of the district attorney to provide this evidence to the grand jury warrants a dismissal of the indictment,” the attorneys wrote in the filing.

The attorneys face a Friday deadline to file the pre-trial motion seeking the dismissal of the rape charge.

Weinstein was indicted in May and July by a Manhattan grand jury on charges that he sexually assaulted three women. He has pleaded not guilty, and has said through his attorneys that are sexual encounters that he had with women over the years were consensual.