NYPD Detective in Harvey Weinstein Case Encouraged Accuset to Delete Information from Her Phone

NYPD Det. Nicholas DiGaudio, right, escorts Harvey Weinstein into court in Manhattan in May. On Wednesday, prosecutors released a letter that suggested DiGaudio told one of Weinstein’s accusers to delete information from her cellphone before turning it over to prosecutors. (Associated Press)

The detective who was once at the center of the sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein told one of the disgraced mogul’s accusers to delete information from her cellphone before turning it over to prosecutors, according to a document made public Wednesday.

NYPD Det. Nicholas DiGaudio, who led Weinstein into a Manhattan courthouse in handcuffs earlier this year, gave the advice after the woman said she was concerned some of her personal communications could wind up in a court file, records show.

Manhattan Assistant Dist. Atty. Joan Illuzzi-Osborn disclosed the information in a letter to Weinstein’s legal team, which was made public Wednesday. A spokesman for the district attorney’s office said it would not comment further on the matter.

Prosecutors learned of the situation last week, during a phone call with the accuser and one of her attorneys, according to the letter. No information was actually deleted from the phone.

“This new development even further undermines the integrity of an already deeply flawed indictment of Mr. Weinstein,” his attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said in a statement.

Weinstein surrendered to New York police in May and has been charged with sexually assaulting three women between 2004 and 2014, prosecutors have said.

The woman described in the letter made public on Wednesday is the accuser in three of the remaining five charges against Weinstein, court records show.

The accuser described in the letter, whose identity has never been made public, told prosecutors that she consulted with DiGaudio before turning over her cellphones to the district attorney’s office, according to the letter.

During that conversation, DiGaudio said the accuser should “delete anything she did not want anyone to see” before providing any cellphones to the prosecution.

“We just won’t tell Joan,” DiGaudio said, according to the letter, referring to the lead prosecutor, Illuzzi-Osborn.

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SOURCE: LA Times, James Queally and Richard Winton