NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Prominent civil rights attorney Sanford Rubenstein will not face charges after being accused of rape, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office announced Monday.
“Given the available evidence, the degree of the complainant’s recollection of what occurred at the suspect’s apartment, and the results of the toxicological testing, neither the provable facts nor the applicable law support a prosecution in this matter,” Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for the district attorney, said in a statement.
Over the past three months, prosecutors and investigators reviewed surveillance video from the Four Seasons and Rubenstein’s apartment building, physical evidence, and medical records, Vollero said. They also interviewed 48 people including the woman, Rubenstein, a friend who accompanied the woman to Rubenstein’s apartment, party guests, and employees of the restaurant and apartment building.
Both Rubenstein and his accuser, who was described as a top official within Sharpton’s National Action Network, attended the star-studded event at the Four Seasons Hotel New York before going to his apartment, a source told CBS2 in October.
The woman alleged that at the apartment, Rubenstein had sex with her when she was too intoxicated to give consent or even remember.
Rubenstein told police through his attorney that the sex with the woman was consensual.
The woman filed the complaint after she woke up bleeding and went to the hospital, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported in October. Sources told CBS 2 that since the woman’s recollection of the night was fuzzy, police had her make a “sting” call to Rubenstein to talk about their night together.
Rubenstein made no incriminating statements in the call, sources said.
“I am pleased that after a very thorough investigation the District Attorney has closed the case and concluded that I should not be charged with any crime whatsoever. I want to thank my family, my partners and the staff at my firm and my attorney Ben Brafman, who has guided me through this ordeal. I look forward to many more years of practicing law and representing victims,” Rubenstein said in a statement released Monday. “I maintained from the very beginning that I did not violate the law. I am pleased that the system worked and that I have now been fully cleared.”
“Mr. Rubenstein has maintained from the very outset that the woman in question was not drunk, she was not drugged and, she was not raped. Rape is undoubtedly a serious offense. To ‘falsely’ accuse someone of rape is however, equally offensive,” Brafman said in a statement. “We are obviously pleased that this investigation is over and that this outrageous lie has been put to rest.”
Attorney Kenneth Montgomery, representing the accuser, slammed the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for its decision.
“We want to reiterate that we find (DA) Cy Vance’ s office to be incredibly inept in their investigation and refusal to arrest our clients attacker and present this case to a grand jury,” the statement said.
Montgomery also complained that the DA did not tell the accuser that Rubenstein would not be prosecuted.
“While we walked to the meeting our client had to hear that Cy Vance’s office was not going forward with the case,” the statement said. “The Office didn’t have the common decency and professionalism to inform the complainant of their decision not to go forward, but they had time to inform Mr. Rubenstein and his attorney and numerous press outlets.”
Montgomery said he has filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of the accuser, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported.
To which Rubenstein’s lawyers replied: “There is no money here. She has not been damaged. She’s entitled to nothing, she will get nothing.”
CBS2’s Gainer asked Rubenstein what his relationship was like now with Sharpton, which set off fiery responses.
“Sandy Rubenstein was very, very successful before Al Sharpton. I think he will continue to be successful after Al Sharpton,” Brafman said. “Ben Brafman personally believes that Al Sharpton owes Sandy Rubenstein an apology,” said
Whether or not Rubenstein does any more work for the National Action Network remains unclear, but Rubenstein vows to get back to work.
A NAN spokesperson said the accuser “is and remains a member in good standing of our National Board of Directors. We will refer the district attorney’s decision to the general board before we have any further response or comment.”
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