The judge overseeing the criminal trial of Harvey Weinstein on Monday ruled that an NYPD detective who was removed from the police investigation cannot be called to testify.
While Justice James Burke rejected Weinstein’s defense attorneys’ request to have Detective Nicholas DiGaudio take the stand, he said that other witnesses could testify about the cop.
DiGaudio was removed from the NYPD investigation into Weinstein in 2018 after he breached protocol by instructing a witness to delete information from her phone and failing to inform prosecutors of evidence that would have been beneficial to the defense — specifically that she had told a friend she had agreed to perform a sex act on Weinstein after he promised her acting jobs.
“This is not to say the defense cannot vigorously crossexamine witnesses about their interactions with the detective,” Burke added.
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The unnamed female witness ultimately did not delete anything from her device, according to a letter from Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzi-Orbon, the lead prosecutor on the case. But DiGaudio’s interactions with Lucia Evans, an actress who accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex on him, added further scrutiny to his conduct on the investigation.
Evans has denied that she consented to the sex act with Weinstein, and DiGaudio denied withholding exculpatory information about the case, but he was ultimately removed from the case and the prosecution dropped one criminal charge based on Evans’ accusations.
Weinstein, who has pleaded not guilty, faces five felony counts from predatory sexual assault and rape. If convicted, he could face a life sentence in prison. The trial continues on Tuesday with the prescreening portion of jury selection.
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