Weinstein could face criminal charges if rape claim is true
By Rebecca Rosenberg, Emily Saul and Julia Marsh
New York Post
Harvey Weinstein could still be on the hook for criminal charges — following an actress’ horrifying allegation of forced oral sex in his Tribeca office and an anonymous employee’s rape claim.
Lucia Evans told The New Yorker that Weinstein exposed himself and pushed her head into his lap during a solo meeting at the old Miramax office in 2004.
“He forced me to perform oral sex on him,” she said.
“If the allegations are true … they would support a prosecution for criminal sexual act in the first degree,” said Daniel Alonso, a former top prosecutor with the Manhattan DA’s Office. A conviction on the charge carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
Misdemeanor charges of sex abuse, sexual misconduct and forcible touching would have also likely been tacked on if he committed the act more recently.
And Weinstein could still be probed over allegations of “rape” by an unidentified employee, who claimed he “forced himself on me sexually.”
The New Yorker described the alleged assault as “rape” — a felony charge with a statute of limitations that never expires. It was not clear if the incident happened in New York.
Neither Evans nor the unnamed employee went to police. The Manhattan DA’s Office would not say if it was looking into the claims.
Meanwhile, civil attorneys said that while his firing from The Weinstein Company doesn’t affect confidentiality agreements with some of his accusers, Weinstein could open a can of worms if he sues the New York Times as threatened.
“Almost all of [the agreements] are going to be invalidated by a subpoena,” said lawyer Rosemarie Arnold, who’s represented many sexual assault victims. “Once there’s a valid subpoena you can’t hide or not disclose something. They’re not going to be protected by a criminal subpoena or a civil subpoena by that matter.”
Non-disclosure agreements also don’t hold up in civil litigations.
“So the New York Times, if they’re sued, can subpoena these eight or nine women and subpoena their testimony,” said former Brooklyn prosecutor Lowell Sidney, who now represents defendants accused of sex crimes. “These women could testify without any concerns about breaking the agreement.”
Additional reporting by Lia Eustachewich