The sexual assault case against disgraced former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein will go ahead after a New York judge dismissed claims by the defence that the prosecution’s case is “irreparably tainted”.

Judge James Burke on Thursday (December 20th) rejected a motion from Weinstein’s defence team to dismiss the criminal charges against him.

Since Weinstein’s plea of not guilty entered back in June, the prosecution’s claim had been clouded by allegations that the police had acted improperly in the process of gathering evidence – specifically, that a detective had coached a potential witness and one of the accusers. They also claim the grand jury should have been shown evidence that Weinstein had exchanged friendly emails with his two accusers after the alleged attacks.

Harvey WeinsteinThe case against Harvey Weinstein will be going ahead

There is “no basis for the defendant’s claim of prosecutorial or law enforcement misconduct in the proceedings”, the judge said in a written decision issued after the hearing, at the same time setting the next court date for March 7th.

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66 year old Weinstein is charged with raping a woman he knew in a hotel room in March 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman in 2006 at his Manhattan apartment. He could face imprisonment for life if convicted, but he has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

“We are obviously disappointed that the charges were not dismissed today,” Weinstein's attorney, Ben Brafman, told reporters as he left court. “We intend to vigorously defend this case to the best of our ability.”

However, Time’s Up president Lisa Borders said “Today, here in New York, we saw the first steps towards justice,” and that Weinstein had “failed in his efforts to avoid accountability for his crimes.”

Allegations of historic sexual misconduct against Weinstein spanning back decades were uncovered in an article by the New York Times in October 2017, since which nearly 100 women have joined a class-action lawsuit against the producer claiming to have been victimised by him.

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