NYPD probes claim that evidence was withheld in Weinstein case

Image: Harvey Weinstein and attorney Benjamin Brafman exit State Supreme Court
Harvey Weinstein and attorney Benjamin Brafman exit State Supreme Court in New York on June 5, 2018. Weinstein pleaded not guilty on two counts of rape and one count of a criminal sexual act.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Jonathan Dienst and Dennis Romero

Questions are being raised about the handling of a potential witness in the New York rape case against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Two sources familiar with the case told NBC News that there are possible concerns about how a New York Police Department detective might have mishandled interviews of former aspiring actress Lucia Evans, who claims that she was forced to perform oral sex on Weinstein during a 2004 meeting at his Manhattan office.

Weinstein's legal team has refuted the New York indictment — which includes sexual misconduct allegations from two other women — and had sought to have the case dismissed. He remains free on $1 million bail.

The questions come as TMZ first reported Thursday that a witness, identified as a female casting director, came forward with a claim that Evans once told her that she performed oral sex on Weinstein in order to get an acting role. But an investigator allegedly did not forward the account to prosecutors, according to the site.

NBC News has not spoken to that casting director.

A court hearing was expected later this month on the matter as the NYPD is now conducting an internal review of the claim the investigator withheld information, sources familiar with the case told NBC News.

One source familiar with the matter said complaints against investigators are a common tactic in high profile cases, but a review of the claim was underway.

Weinstein's attorney Ben Brafman and his spokesman Juda Engelmayer declined to comment.

The movie producer has previously denied all of the allegations against him. "Mr. Weinstein maintains that all of these allegations are false and he expects to be fully vindicated," Brafman told reporters in July.

A spokesman for the Manhattan District Attorney also declined comment.

"The NYPD, working with its partner the New York District Attorney, is fully confident in the overall case it has pursued against Mr. Weinstein," an NYPD spokesman said. "The evidence shows that the criminal case against him is strong. The NYPD will continue to assist the prosecution any way it can to ensure justice is achieved for these brave survivors."