Thursday, March 22, 2018

Weinstein Hanky Panky in New York Justice System

Ever since the New Yorker published audio of Harvey Weinstein cajoling Ambra Battilana to enter his room, the NYPD and the District Attorney have been pointing fingers at each other. The central question is this: Why wasn’t Weinstein prosecuted based on the information available back in 2015?

As Ed noted last October when the audio first became news, the DA’s office said the NYPD had screwed up the investigation by failing to get proper direction. The NYPD responded that its Special Victim’s Unit had plenty of experience in handling sex crimes and blamed the DA for going easy on a powerful man. Last Friday afternoon, this simmering story erupted again when New York Magazine published a story arguing that the DA’s office had stepped in to protect Weinstein:
Someone stepped in to protect a Clinton friend and contributor? I'm shocked, shocked!
 After recording the audio (see below), the NYPD asked Weinstein to come down to the station. He immediately started threatening the detectives and saying he would call the Chief of the NYPD. As soon as Weinstein learned who had accused him, he lawyered up. Not just any lawyers, but two with connections to the DA’s office. And shortly after that, the DA’s office began its investigation into Battilana’s story, an investigation which the NYPD felt was strangely accusatory. In fact, the police decided they would stash Battilana in hotels to help her avoid the District Attorney’s investigators.
On April 1, five days after Battilana had filed her complaint, Bashford conducted an interview with her. The next day, sources say, Vance’s office sent its own investigators to Battilana’s apartment. There, according to Bock, they aggressively questioned her roommates. Was Battilana a prostitute? Did she bring home lots of strange men? Was she a stripper? The DA’s office also reviewed video from the apartment building’s surveillance cameras, which would enable them to create a record of Battilana’s personal life. “When she found out about this, the victim became afraid,” recalls Bock. “She began to cry.”
The cops are more honest than the prosecutors in New York City? That's not how it's portrayed in "Blue Bloods!"
According to Bock, Osgood believed that Vance and his office were actively working to discredit Battilana. So the chief and his team decided to take an extraordinary step. “We decided we’re going to hide the victim,” Bock says. “From the DA.”
On April 2, under the direction of Osgood, the SVD put Battilana in a hotel, registering her under a false name. For the next five nights, she was kept safe from Vance’s investigators, first at the Franklin Hotel, then at the Bentley. A 22-year-old woman had come forward to accuse one of the most powerful men in Hollywood of sexual abuse, and the police decided she needed protection — not only from her alleged assailant, but from the elected official responsible for prosecuting him.
After five days in hiding, Battilana agreed to meet with the prosecutor’s office. Representatives for the NYPD showed up at the meeting and again found the tone accusatory, including questions about Battilana’s attendance at sex parties with Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Three days later, the District Attorney announced he would not prosecute Weinstein. For its part, the DA’s office denies everything in the New York story. It claims it was never informed about the planned sting and that it never questioned Battilana’s roommates.
And a bonus, she's one of Silvio's girls. He's got good taste! At least she should be acquainted with the link between sex and politics!

I can hardly wait for an honest treatment on TV.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Nikki Nicole" ready for your digital pleasure.

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