Rose McGowan won’t watch lawyers argue to have Va. drug charge dropped

LEESBURG, Va. — Actress-activist Rose McGowan won’t be present in a Loudoun County courtroom Monday, as her attorneys argue to have her felony cocaine possession charge dismissed.

“We’re waiving Ms. McGowan’s presence,” McGowan’s co-counsel James Hundley told WTOP.

Last week, McGowan’s co-counsel, Jessica Carmichael, filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction in Loudoun County district court.

According to charging documents, a cleaning crew found McGowan’s wallet next to her seat after she got off a flight at Dulles International Airport on Jan. 20, 2017.

McGowan and her attorneys have maintained her innocence, and suggested the cocaine was planted in her wallet, perhaps by someone working for movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

McGowan was one of the first women to publicly say she was raped by Weinstein.

In Tuesday’s scheduled motions hearing, McGowan’s attorneys will argue the drug likely was put in her wallet after she lost it.

“There is simply no point in time at which the evidence places Ms. McGowan and the cocaine together in the same place,” wrote Carmichael.

McGowan and her attorneys have cited an article in The Guardian reporting that Weinstein distributed a hitlist of names to a team hired by the film producer to suppress claims he had sexually harassed or assaulted numerous women.

McGowan’s attorneys have offered no independent proof supporting the allegation, although it is likely the defense has hired its own investigators to look into Weinstein’s potential involvement in the McGowan case.

Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert’s office will try McGowan as a special prosecutor, after Loudoun County prosecutor Jim Plowman recused himself. Hundley represents Plowman in an ongoing federal civil rights case.

Hundley said he had been advised that the assistant commonwealth’s attorney trying the case may have a conflict Monday, so a possibility exists the motion to dismiss will be discussed at a previously scheduled preliminary hearing on March 21.

If convicted, McGowan could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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