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Harvey Weinstein: Prosecutors defend lack of action

Harvey Weinstein: Prosecutors defend lack of action
From BBC - October 11, 2017

Prosecutors have defended their decision not to take action against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein after a woman complained about his behaviour in 2015.

The Manhattan district attorney's office says undercover audio of the complainant and Weinstein was "insufficient to prove a crime".

But they said the Oscar winner had a "pattern of mistreating women".

Weinstein says many of the accusations against him are false.

In a statement, Chief Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman-Agnifilo said: "If we could have prosecuted Harvey Weinstein for the conduct that occurred in 2015, we would have.

"Mr Weinstein's pattern of mistreating women, as recounted in recent reports, is disgraceful and shocks the conscience."

Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, 22, had gone to police to accuse Weinstein of touching her inappropriately. She then agreed to meet the producer again while wearing a hidden microphone.

The district attorney's office say police arranged the meeting without informing them. "Prosecutors were not afforded the opportunity before the meeting to counsel investigators on what was necessary to capture in order to prove a misdemeanour sex crime," they said.

They say the "horrifying" audio "was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law" which left prosecutors with "no choice but to conclude the criminal investigation without charges".

In the recording, Weinstein can be heard asking Ms Gutierrez to come into his hotel room. The model asks the producer "why yesterday you touched my breast?" He apologises, saying he "wo not do it again".

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