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NYPD detective told Weinstein accuser to delete info from her phones: DA

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The NYPD detective who got kicked off the Harvey Weinstein sex-assault case was accused Wednesday by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office of telling an accuser to delete information from her cellphones before turning them over to prosecutors.

The allegation against Detective Nicholas DiGaudio marked the second time prosecutors have accused him of coaching a witness to withhold evidence from them.

It also followed controversy over whether or not DiGaudio told lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon about damaging information that last week led to the dismissal of allegations that Weinstein forced aspiring actress Lucia Evans her to perform oral sex on him in 2004.

In a letter to the disgraced movie mogul’s defense lawyer, Illuzzi-Orbon said another woman whom Weinstein is accused of raping in 2013 — identified only as “Complainant 2” — was told by DiGaudio that “she should delete anything she did not want anyone to see” before turning her phones over to prosecutors.

“According to Complainant 2, Detective DiGaudio then added, ‘we just won’t tell Joan,'” the letter says.

“Notwithstanding this communication with Detective DiGaudio, Complainant 2 did not delete anything from her cellphones, and instead retained Lawyer A for advice.”

The woman later handed over her phones “without any deletions,” and said “that at no time did Detective DiGaudio or anyone else influence her testimony or any evidence she provided,” Illuzzi-Orbon wrote.

Weinstein lawyer Benjamin Brafman said, “This new development even further undermines the integrity of an already deeply flawed indictment of Mr. Weinstein.”

The head of DiGaudio’s union blasted Illuzzi-Orbon’s letter as “just another smear campaign against Detective DiGaudio to cover up the Manhattan DA’s own incompetence.”

“A woman should not have to surrender confidential intimate information that’s immaterial to the case to defend herself against a sexual predator. That’s being victimized twice. Detective DiGaudio was sensitive to that,” said Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association.

Palladino added: “The Manhattan DA’s office needs to enter the 21st century. This is the age of technology. People keep loads of personal info on their phones that they prefer remains confidential.”

DiGaudio was removed as lead detective on the Weinstein case over allegations he failed to tell prosecutors that a friend of Evans had told him Evans admitted performing the sex act on Weinstein after he offered to get her an acting job.

The unidentified woman also told prosecutors that DiGaudio advised her that “‘going forward, less is more;’ and that the Witness has no obligation to cooperate,” Illuzzi-Orbon wrote in court papers made public last week.

DiGaudio claims that he told Illuzzi-Orbon about the woman’s allegations regarding Evans and that a fellow cop was present during the conversation and can corroborate his version of events, law enforcement sources have told The Post.
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