NOW to protest at Manhattan DA's office over Harvey Weinstein controversy

NOW to protest at Manhattan DA's office over Harvey Weinstein controversy

NOW to protest at Manhattan DA's office over Harvey Weinstein controversy

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. on Wednesday defended his office's decision not to prosecute Harvey Weinstein for sexual assault after the film mogul groped a woman in NY in 2015.

"I, like they, was very disturbed by the contents of the tape", said Vance, who is now running for his third term in office.

A separate investigation last week found that Vance's office had been working on a case against Donald Trump, Jr., and Ivanka Trump, over allegations that they deceived potential buyers at Trump SoHo by exaggerating sales figures.

"Special Victims Detectives went the extra mile and the Manhattan District Attorney had more than sufficient evidence to prosecute", Detectives Endowment Association President Michael Palladino said in a statement Friday. The latest backlash stems from a 2015 NYPD investigation brought on by Amber Gutierrez, a model who, with the help of police, recorded a conversation with Weinstein where he can be heard admitting to groping her.

Weinstein was sacked from his namesake production company, the Weinstein Company, on Sunday after an investigation by the New York Times found that a series of women had accused him of sexual harassment over three decades.

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Vance defending his decision this week, saying that while he was sickened and disturbed by the audio, there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute the case. Her office did not dispute that she made the statement.

The NYPD confirmed that it investigated a "misdemeanor sexual abuse complaint against Harvey Weinstein" in March 2015.

"Our sex crimes prosecutors made a determination that this was not going to be a provable case so the decision was made not to go forward", said Vance, after a panel on the changing role of the prosecutor at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

"I think the district attorney's decision is emblematic of something that's happening in office routinely, but doesn't usually make the headlines", added Jane Manning, an attorney and the Director of Advocacy for NOW NYC. Kasowitz had donated $25,000 to Vance's reelection campaign before the meeting (money Vance later returned) and went on to donate and raise a total of more than $50,000 in the months after the case against the Trump kids disappeared. "But at the end of the day we operate in a courtroom of law, not the court of public opinion", Vance told the group of gathered journalists on Wednesday. While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under NY law, which requires prosecutors to establish criminal intent.

"We take on many, many, many hard sex crime prosecutions with individuals irrespective of background or their money", said Vance. The police believed the victim and wanted Weinstein prosecuted.

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Vance denied that the monetary contributions informed the office's choice not to pursue the film producer.

Vance also drew attention for his ultimately unsuccessful attempt in 2011 to prosecute former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn for sexual assault.

"I support Cy Vance, I will endorse Cy Vance for re-election, and I don't understand the controversy", James said, according to a tweet by a reporter. Short of New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo firing him or Vance stepping down, he stands a strong chance of weathering the storm. One has to wonder whether New Yorkers who don't possess similar privileges would have seen the same result.

Amy Spitalnick, press secretary for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, said the attorney general declined to comment in response to questions about Vance.

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