The attorney representing Rose McGowan in a widely publicized, felony drug possession case entered a not guilty plea on the “Charmed” star’s behalf in a Virginia courtroom on Nov. 16. The plea came two days after the 44-year-old actress surrendered herself to authorities in response to an arrest warrant obtained on Feb. 1 by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Airline staff contacted police in January when two packages of white powder were found in a wallet that had been left on a plane. Police say that subsequent toxicology tests established that the substance was cocaine.
McGowan admits to leaving her wallet on the plane when she flew into the nation’s capital to attend the Woman’s March in January. However, she denies using cocaine and claims that individuals representing Harvey Weinstein are behind the allegations. McGowan was one of the first women to step forward and accuse the Hollywood mogul of rape.
According to McGowan’s attorney, the actress filed a lost luggage claim and used social media to appeal to airline involved for help after realizing that she had lost her wallet. Establishing a clear chain of custody for the alleged cocaine may be difficult for prosecutors as reports suggest that at least one unknown individual handled the wallet before authorities took possession of it. The actress says that an unidentified individual contacted her on the image sharing platform Instagram the following day claiming to have found the wallet and the drugs.
Those accused of drug possession or drunk driving often feel that the evidence against them is overwhelming, but even cases that appear strong may be difficult to prove beyond reasonable doubt. Experienced criminal defense attorneys study police reports closely when the evidence against their clients seems compelling, and they may seek to have the charges reduced or dismissed when this scrutiny uncovers chain of custody or probable cause issues.
Source: CNN, Rose McGowan pleads not guilty to drug possession, Lisa France, 11/16/2017