Manhattan District Attorney Declined to Prosecute Harvey Weinstein in 2015

Celebrities are continuing to come forward, either to add accusations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein or to condemn him to the public. As it turns out, this isn’t the first time Weinstein has been accused, however. A 2015 complaint might have outed Weinstein earlier, if the Manhattan district attorney handling the complaint, Cyrus Vance Jr., hadn’t declined to prosecute the case.
Harvey Weinstein was Accused of Sexual Misconduct in 2015
Two years ago, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, a model and former Miss Italy finalist, accused Harvey Weinstein of sexually accosting her. The incident occurred in Harvey’s office, claimed the model, who stated in her complaint that Weinstein lunged at her, during the interview. He grabbed her breasts and slid his hand up her skirt, according to Ms. Gutierrez.
After filing a complaint with the police, Ambra agreed to wear a surveillance wire for a meeting with Mr. Weinstein at an area bar. At the meeting, the film producer asked Ambra up to his hotel room and she accompanied him, but stopped before going into the room. Ms. Gutierrez took the opportunity to confront Harvey about why he had groped her in his office a day earlier.
In response, Weinstein told Ambra that he was sorry and it wouldn’t happen again, commenting that “I’m used to that”.
While the wiretap produced some incriminating statements against Weinstein, it was Gutierrez’s past that stirred reluctance in District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.’s to prosecute the case. The police uncovered evidence that Gutierrez had accused another individual, an Italian businessman, of sexual assault, but later refused to cooperate with the investigation.
Ambra Battilana Gutierrez Recanted her Allegations
Later, Ambra admitted the alleged sexual misconduct never happened. That recanting of her allegation was stated in a nondisclosure agreement she signed with Harvey Weinstein. Sources report the NDA was a common practice Weinstein employed to ensure women accusing him of misconduct wouldn’t later step forward and reassert their complaints.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman Agnifilo has since issued a statement regarding the 2015 incident, assuring the public that Mr. Weinstein would have been prosecuted, if police had gathered enough evidence. She added that prosecutors weren’t consulted on what exactly was needed in the wiretapped conversation between Weinstein and Ambra Battilana Gutierrez to constitute sufficient evidence for a prosecution.
“While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law, which requires prosecutors to establish criminal intent,” reads Agnifilo’s statement in part.
The Chief A.D.A. concluded her statement by admitting there wasn’t enough evidence to move forward with prosecution. As a result, charges against Harvey Weinstein were dropped.

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