Judge rejects Harvey Weinstein’s request to dismiss sexual assault case

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Harvey Weinstein is expected to face trial "fairly soon" after a judge refused to dismiss the sexual assault case against him.

Weinstein, who faces a up to life in prison if convicted of the five charges against him, has denied having nonconsensual sex with anyone following accusations by more than 70 women, mostly young actresses and other women employed in the movie business, of sexual misconduct, including rape, going back decades.

Burke dismissed one charge against Weinstein earlier this year but he flatly rejected the defense motion on Thursday to toss out the other five counts.

The proceedings lasted just 10 minutes, a remarkably quick resolution to a highly anticipated and pivotal appearance that the defense had hoped would end with the charges against Weinstein getting dropped.

The disgraced Hollywood producer's lawyers also alleged police acted improperly in the investigation.

The next hearing in the case is set for 7 March.

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The Manhattan district attorney's office had not presented a misleading account of the relationship between the two women and Weinstein as Brafman had claimed, Judge Burke wrote.

The judge can agree with the defense, or he could schedule a trial. Seated in court were several actresses, including Marisa Tomei and Kathy Najimy, as well as activists for the Time's Up and #MeToo movements.

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.

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

A conviction for Weinstein would vindicate numerous women who were able to expose his behavior, according to Gershman.

Weinstein's lawyers say the case has devolved into chaos and was "irreparably tainted" by DiGaudio's alleged interference.

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But six months later, the case against Weinstein appeared as though it might be in trouble.

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 legal team argued that the case has reached an irreparable place after police Det.

"The only reasonably prudent decision would be to stop this chaos now", Brafman said in a court filing.

Late last month, Weinstein's lawyers said they spoke to a woman who said the rape accuser asked her to corroborate her allegations, but the friend wouldn't "make up a story".

Burke's ruling revealed that Weinstein had agreed in May to testify before the grand jury considering his case.

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