Looks like America's biggest #MeToo case is faltering. A vortex of recent developments—including a dismissed charge and a detective who apparently failed to reveal vital information—has some analysts saying Harvey Weinstein could walk scot-free, the New York Times reports. Much of it hinges on a charge by marketing executive Lucia Evans, who says Weinstein made her give him oral sex in 2004 when she was an aspiring actor. But prosecutors say Nicholas DiGaudio, the case's lead detective, never told them about an Evans friend who said Evans gave the oral sex willingly for a film part. A judge dismissed Evans' claim in early October, the Daily News reported, leaving five criminal charges against the 66-year-old film producer.
But a defense lawyer might tarnish the whole case with that dismissal, says a former prosecutor and law teacher: "To have this, post-indictment, is a horror," she explains. What's more, DiGaudio—who also told a Weinstein accuser to remove embarrassing information from a cellphone—may be too compromised to appear as a witness. "That cop completely jeopardized the district attorney’s case," says a former Queens prosecutor. Meanwhile, Weinstein has released emails suggesting he had a consensual affair with his second accuser, who says he raped her in 2013. The third case, another accusation of forced oral sex, may boil down to he said-she said. Yet lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi isn't giving up: "We are moving full speed ahead," she says. (One actor says she's been "plotting revenge" against Weinstein for 20 years.)