CBS/AP October 17, 2018, 5:05 PM Detective in Harvey Weinstein case allegedly urged accuser to delete cellphone info

Harvey Weinstein and attorney Benjamin Brafman arrive at State Supreme Court, June 5, 2018 in New York City. Weinstein pleaded not guilty to rape charges.

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NEW YORK — New York prosecutors say the former lead police detective in the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault investigation urged one of Weinstein's accusers to delete information from her phone before turning it over to investigators. Prosecutors say the woman didn't delete any information, which was personal and not related to the investigation.

The Manhattan district attorney's office detailed the alleged misconduct in a letter to Weinstein's lawyer that was made public Wednesday. The new allegations against Detective Nicholas DiGaudio involve an unidentified woman who says Weinstein raped her in his Manhattan hotel room in 2013.

DiGaudio was removed from the Weinstein case last week after evidence surfaced that he instructed a witness to keep quiet when she raised doubts about a claim of sexual assault against the disgraced movie mogul by another accuser, Lucia Evans. That revelation led prosecutors to drop a charge related to that allegation.

There was no immediate response from DiGaudio's union.

In an expose published in The New Yorker last year, Evans accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex when they met alone in his office in 2004 to discuss her fledgling acting career. At the time, Evans was a 21-year-old college student. She said she had initially met Weinstein at a restaurant in Manhattan earlier that summer.

Prosecutors said in a letter unsealed last week that they learned weeks ago that a female friend who was with Evans the night she met Weinstein had given the police detective a contradictory account of what happened.

Prosecutors said the detective didn't share that information with prosecutors and urged the witness not to reveal details, saying "less is more."

In a statement last week, a lawyer for Evans said her client has consistently maintained that she was sexually assaulted by Weinstein and accused the district attorney's office of mishandling the case. In a statement released to CBS New York last week, the New York Police Department said it is "fully confident in the overall case it had pursued against Mr. Weinstein."

Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon told a judge Thursday that prosecutors wouldn't oppose dismissal of the count in the case involving Evans, reported CBS New York. She insisted the rest of the case, involving the two other accusers, was strong. Weinstein, who has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex, still faces charges over the alleged 2013 rape and allegations that he performed a forcible sex act on a different woman in 2006.

"In short, your honor, we are moving full steam ahead," she said.

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