A special prosecutor handling the criminal case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says an appeals court has upheld the indictment on securities fraud charges.

Special prosecutor Brian Wice said Wednesday night that the Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals allowed the case against the state's top prosecutor to move forward. Paxton was indicted nearly a year ago on charges of defrauding wealthy investors in a tech startup.

His next and final chance of having the case dismissed rests with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The Republican-dominated court threw out criminal charges against GOP former Texas Gov. Rick Perry earlier this year.

Paxton attorney Bill Mateja says the defense will decide soon whether to go to the state's highest criminal court.

Paxton has pleaded not guilty.