Judge Allows Sex Trafficking Lawsuit Against Harvey Weinstein to Advance 


On Tuesday, a New York federal judge granted a British woman’s sex-trafficking lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein permission move forward, throwing out the disgraced producer’s motion to dismiss

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the woman, Kadian Noble, is suing Weinstein over an alleged assault she says took place in Cannes, France in 2014. Her story is by now quite familiar. Noble says that she was an aspiring actress when Weinstein asked her to join him in a hotel room under the pretense of offering her acting work. Instead, he allegedly groped her, forced her legs open and began masturbating.

Noble brought the case against Wenstin in November, and has argued that Weinstein should be liable for damages under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, since he allegedly offered her a film role as a lure to assault her (The Guardian reports that the law “makes it a crime to coerce someone into sex in exchange for something of value”). Weinstein’s lawyer argued that the complaint should be thrown out on the grounds that “not every alleged sexual assault constitutes a federal violation,” and that this particular application of the statute “would unfairly expand the federal sex trafficking statute to all sexual activity occurring between adults in which one party holds a superior position of power and influence.”

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet argued in his ruling that though this is not a typical application of the statute, “a broad statute has a plain and unambiguous meaning, it ought to be interpreted broadly.” Sweet went on to say, “What proved to be empty promises of a film role and a modeling meeting were more than enough to arouse ‘hope and desire’ in Noble, an aspiring actress and model. The allegations therefore plausibly allege the element of ‘enticement.’”

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