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Cuomo calls on NY AG to review handling of 2015 Weinstein case

Cuomo calls on NY AG to review handling of 2015 Weinstein case
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Monday called on state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) to review the Manhattan district attorney's handling of the investigation into a sexual abuse allegation against Harvey Weinstein in 2015. 

New York Magazine reported last week that the New York Police Department hid Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez from prosecutors because they believed Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.'s office was trying to sink the case. 

Audio surfaced of Gutierrez speaking with Weinstein as part of a sting operation in 2015. 

Gutierrez said Weinstein had groped her the day before.

Weinstein reportedly made various potentially incriminating remarks in the recording, but he was not charged at the time. 

"It is critical not only that these cases are given the utmost attention but also that there is public confidence in the handling of these cases," Cuomo said in a statement. 

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"Therefore, I have directed the Attorney General to begin a review of the 2015 case in a way that does not interfere with the current investigation and, at the conclusion of the Manhattan District Attorney's current investigation, to review the entire matter and report to me on its findings. Based on these findings we will decide what further actions may be necessary," he said.

"The recent revelations about sexual assault and harassment pervasive in our society are most disturbing. We are leading the way forward with the nation's most comprehensive reform package. This behavior must end."

The "Time's Up" movement urged Cuomo in a letter on Sunday to probe Vance’s handling of the allegations against Weinstein.

"An independent investigation into the full decision-making process in this case, including a full review of the correspondence within the office and with any representatives for Mr. Weinstein, must be undertaken immediately to ensure that prosecutorial integrity was maintained and to restore faith in the [district attorney’s] office," the organization said. 

The allegations against Weinstein and various other powerful men across the country led to the emergence of the "Me Too" and "Time's Up" movements, which advocated against sexual misconduct and gender inequality.