NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer met with a judge Tuesday in Lower Manhattan, raising concerns about whether is client will receive a fair trial.
Benjamin Brafman did not disclose many details from the meeting, because the judge sealed their conversation. He did, however, say the district attorney’s office has an unprecedented amount of pressure from the public to indict and convict Weinstein, CBS2’s Reena Roy reported.
The disgraced Hollywood mogul turned himself in to authorities last Friday and was arraigned on rape, criminal sex act, sexual abuse and sexual misconduct charges. He maintains any sexual activity he engaged in was consensual.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said the charges stem from the complaints of two women, including former actress Lucia Evans, who says Weinstein allegedly forced her to perform oral sex during a daytime meeting at his New York office in 2004.
“I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,'” she told The New Yorker. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough.”
The other woman says Weinstein allegedly raped her at the Doubletree hotel in Midtown in 2013.
“Over the next few months, we’ll be hearing from Harvey Weinstein’s lawyers, saying the victims are liars, that their client is being tried ‘by the movement’ or the press,” Evans’ attorney Carrie Goldman said after Weinstein’s arraignment last week. “Those are the desperate excuses of somebody who thought he’d never get caught.”
On Tuesday, Brafman said the anonymous woman accusing Weinstein of rape had a consensual relationship with him for years.
“Handling criminal cases on both sides, I’ve really never been in that position where I am defending a crime which is serious on its face but when you drill down into it – based on my investigation, also in my opinion – absurd,” he said.
“Mr. Weinstein’s state of mind is serious,” he added. “You can only imagine what your state of mind would be if you’ve been accused of a very serious crime, which you maintain you did not commit.”
Weinstein pleaded not guilty and posted $1 million bail. He was ordered to surrender his passport, stay within New York and Connecticut and wear an electronic monitoring device.
He is due back in court next month.