Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance will present a case against movie producer and alleged serial sexual abuser Harvey Weinstein to a grand jury as early as next week, according to a report Tuesday.
The news does have curious timing, however. Tuesday is election day, and Vance is facing a write-in campaign from former Brooklyn prosecutor Marc Fliedner.
Last month, The New Yorker published an expose of Weinstein’s history, including three women who said on the record that Weinstein had raped them. The story included a recording of Weinstein admitting to groping a woman and saying he was used to doing so.
Vance’s office had the tape but did not pursue charges against Weinstein, inciting a firestorm of criticism.
At the time, Vance was running unopposed.
Tuesday’s report, from NBC New York, attributes the news to “a senior official familiar with the investigation” and comes just hours before the polls close in New York. Though the write-in campaign is a long shot, the timing of the news is curious, as Fliedner’s campaign has picked up steam, making Vance’s failure to prosecute Weinstein a central tenant of their challenge.
“CY VANCE CHOSE NOT TO PROSECUTE HARVEY WEINSTEIN,” the header photo on Fliedner’s Twitter proclaims.
On his website, Fliedner writes, “Vance has a record of not prosecuting men who are rich and famous, or work for law enforcement that have committed crimes against women, girls, trans and intersex, [including] Weinstein.”
Last week, the NYPD opened a criminal investigation into Weinstein, saying in a statement, “Based on information referenced in published news reporters, the NYPD is conducting a review to determine if there are any additional complaints relating to the Harvey Weinstein matter.”
The department is also exploring a claim made by actress Lucia Stroller, who says Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004. The criminal sexual act is considered a Class B felony that carries up to 25 years in prison.
“We are on the same page when it comes to mission, which is protecting the public and preventing crime and building investigations and cases,” Vance told NBC of his relationship with the NYPD, though he declined to comment further.
Neither Vance’s office nor Fliedner’s campaign responded to requests for comment from ThinkProgress.