Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case given go-ahead by U.S. judge

NYPD Detective Nicholas DiGaudio right escorts Harvey Weinstein into court in New

NYPD Detective Nicholas DiGaudio right escorts Harvey Weinstein into court in New

The case has been heavily scrutinized in the wake of the #MeToo movement, which exploded a year ago after numerous women made allegations against Weinstein.

The flood of accusations brought the Me Too movement to the forefront of the public consciousness and triggered the fall of a string of high-profile men.

A NY judge declined to dismiss sexual assault charges against Harvey Weinstein Thursday, rejecting the latest push from the disgraced U.S. film producer's lawyers to have his indictment thrown out.

It was an outcome many were hoping for, especially those involved in #MeToo and Time's Up movements which stemmed from the allegations levied against Weinstein previous year.

"This is not about the #MeToo movement", Brafman said following the hearing.

Wearing a dark suit, he walked slowly from a black SUV in NY up some stairs and into the courtroom through the main entrance.

Brafman says he also has access to thousands of emails from Weinstein's former movie studio's servers that will weaken the case against his client, according to The Associated Press.

Harvey Weinstein in court as judge declines to dismiss #MeToo sexual assault case against him - live updates

The proceeding was attended by actresses Marisa Tomei and Kathy Najimy, the latter of whom told Vulture that she was present "to hear the proceeding and support survivors". Nicholas DiGaudio's alleged interference with a witness and accuser of the now-disgraced 66-year-old movie-mogul. In June, Weinstein pleaded not guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted three women.

The ruling came about two months after Weinstein won dismissal of a charge involving a third woman after prosecutors revealed that a New York City police detective had withheld information during the investigation, and said they could no longer pursue the charge.

Weinstein and his attorneys had sought to get the charges dismissed, but Judge James Burke rejected that request at a court hearing.

The judge said that while prosecutors must disclose evidence favorable to a defendant before trial, they do not have to show it to a grand jury.

He apparently told another accuser, Mimi Haleyi, who says Weinstein forced her into oral sex in 2006, to delete text messages that could be potentially embarrassing for her, despite prosecutors' advice not to do so.

Weinstein's case started to turn in October when Manhattan prosecutors dropped one of the charges after evidence surfaced that DiGaudio instructed a potential witness in the case to keep some of her doubts about the veracity of the allegations to herself. "We remain confident, despite the court's ruling today, that ultimately at a trial of this case Mr Weinstein will be completely exonerated", Brafman said. He was arrested days later and then withdrew his notice to testify before the grand jury that charged him.

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