justice Due process has been lost
Entertainment mogul Harvey Weinstein was chosen long ago as the poster pervert for the #MeToo movement. Yet this week, he became a reminder that justice in America is for everyone, not just people we like.
Weinstein has been accused by many women of having used his power to victimize them sexually. In New York City alone, he had been charged with crimes involving three different accusers.
On Thursday, that went down to two.
Charges involving one accuser, Lucia Evans, were dropped by the district attorney’s office in Manhattan. Evans had accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform a sex act on him in 2004, when she was a 21-year-old college student.
Weinstein’s attorneys moved charges involving her be dropped. Assistant Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon did not object.
Benjamin Brafman, one of Weinstein’s attorneys, explained that inconsistencies in Evans’ claims had surfaced. He added that she lied to both a grand jury and The New Yorker magazine about Weinstein.
The fact that the district attorney’s office did not object to dropping the charges in question is a strong indication Weinstein’s attorneys had good arguments to make. Remember, prosecutors are moving “full steam ahead,” as one of them put it, on cases involving two other women.
By all appearances, Weinstein is a confirmed sleaze who got away with preying on many women for many years. Bringing him — and other predators — to justice is vital.
But that — justice — is the point. “Innocent until proven guilty” has served Americans well for more than two centuries. The philosophy simply cannot be abandoned, even for the likes of Harvey Weinstein.