Vance's explanation for not charging Weinstein struck at least one NYPD source as suspect: A police commander told The Daily Beast that sex abuse cases have been prosecuted on less evidence than authorities had on Weinstein-but Vance still dropped it after a single week's review. So far, more than 20 women have come forward against the producer.
Protesters including women's rights advocates and sexual assault survivors said District Attorney Cyrus Vance should have held Weinstein, who they call a serial predator, criminally responsible after hearing disturbing wire tap audio of an interaction between Weinstein and model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, one of his alleged victims, in 2015.
Police had set up and recorded the meeting between Battilana Gutierrez and Weinstein as part of their probe. However, after unrelated details in Gutierrez's past reportedly began to emerge, Vance's office decided not to file any charges. Despite that, Vance said there was not enough evidence to prosecute.
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"Special Victims Detectives went the extra mile and the Manhattan District Attorney had more than sufficient evidence to prosecute", Detectives Endowment Association President Michael Palladino said in a statement Friday. While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under NY law, which requires prosecutors to establish criminal intent. Thanks to NYPD bungling, Freidman-Agnifilo concludes, their office had "no choice but to conclude the investigation without criminal charges".
Weinstein has denied having any non-consensual sexual contact with women.
But she was unable to provide further comment as she had signed a "nondisclosure agreement with Weinstein, including an affidavit stating that the acts Weinstein admits to in the recording never happened" in exchange for a financial settlement. Boies has donated more than $50,000 to Vance since 2005, according to the IB Times, and his son and law firm partners have donated an additional $130,000. She said she's ashamed she did not speak out about this sooner, revealing she learned about the shocking allegations from actress Rosanna Arquette, a Weinstein accuser.
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A Boies Schiller Flexner spokesman provided a statement to CNN on Wednesday saying that while Boies had represented Weinstein and The Weinstein Company in civil matters, he had never represented them in a criminal matter.
ProPublica, WNYC and The New Yorker reported earlier this month that Vance's office investigated the Trump children for two years earlier this decade for allegedly misleading potential buyers of units in Trump SoHo, a hotel-condo building. According to a New Yorker report released Wednesday, Donald Trump Sr. eventually brought his longtime lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, onto the case.
He denied specifically that any donations to his campaign had or would ever influence his decisions. "I donated to Cy Vance's campaign because I was and remain extremely impressed by him as a person of impeccable integrity, as a brilliant lawyer and as a public servant with creative ideas and tremendous ability". Vance's fate will rest with voters this November, as he's up for reelection and running unopposed, but for a new write-in candidate named Marc Fliedner, a Brooklyn-based civil rights lawyer who told NY magazine he's running to "give voters an ethical choice in a landscape totally devoid of women's rights and equal justice". "I did not at the time believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed", he told the New Yorker.
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Weinstein: I won't do it again, come on, sit here. In the wake of the report, Vance, who is running for his third term in October, returned the donation.