A sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein will still go to trial after New York judge James Burke shot down an attempt by Weinstein’s lawyers to have the case dismissed on Thursday, according to ABC News.
It clears the way for prosectors to try Weinstein, who faces five counts, including rape. He’s accused of raping a woman in a New York hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman at his Manhattan apartment in 2006. Burke now says pre-trial hearings will take place on March 7.
“We are obviously disappointed, by the Court’s decision to deny our motion to dismiss the Indictment,” Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman said in a statement to TheWrap. “Judge Burke has however, ruled and we must accept his ruling. Nothing in the Court’s ruling however, removes the flawed theory of this case that we intend to vigorously defend at trial, where we are confident that Mr Weinstein will be completely exonerated.”
In November, Weinstein via Brafman filed paperwork in New York Supreme Court saying that the entire prosecution had been tainted by police misconduct. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. dismissed a sixth criminal charge against Weinstein, in which Lucia Evans accused Weinstein of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in 2004.
At the time, Brafman had said the entire superseding indictment should be dismissed “because it was based on a defective Grand Jury proceeding, that was irreparably tainted by police misconduct, Lucia Evans’ false testimony and the District Attorney’s failure to provide the Grand Jury with exculpatory evidence of the long-term, consensual, intimate relationship between Mr. Weinstein and the alleged rape victim in counts three, four and five.”
Several celebrity and entertainment industry figures were present in court to hear the judge’s ruling, including Marisa Tomei, Gloria Allred and Jennifer Esposito.
“Headlines suggesting that the case is crumbling are incorrect,” Allred said, who represents one of the victims. “There’s only one person on trial here. It’s not the District Attorney, it’s not the police, it’s Harvey Weinstein.”