Harvey Weinstein sexual assault case will move forward, judge says

Harvey Weinstein's sexual assault case will move forward.

New York Judge James Burke held a brief court session Thursday after a flurry of court papers in which Weinstein's lawyers say the case has been "irreparably tainted" by allegations that a police detective acted improperly in the investigation.

After a brief hearing and discussion with the lawyers, that lasted roughly 15 minutes total, the judge denied a motion to dismiss the case.

Prosecutors say there's ample evidence to move forward to trial.

Weinstein, who denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex, left the courthouse without commenting. Prior to the hearing, he sat in the courtroom looking both serious and tense as it was unclear whether he'd be moving forward with a trial or walking away free of criminal charges.

The former Weinstein Co. leader put on his fiercest campaign yet to get the case thrown out, seizing on allegations of unscrupulous police work and putting forth a witness who says his rape accuser pressured her to corroborate her story.

Weinstein's legal team argued that the case has reached an irreparable place after police Det. Nicholas DiGaudio's alleged interference with a witness and accuser of the now-disgraced 66-year-old movie-mogul. However, Judge Burke disagreed in his ruling on Thursday.

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 denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

Given how his initial exposure as an alleged sexual predator largely kicked off the slew of powerful men in show business being removed from power by allegations of sexual misconduct, his case is growing in profile as it briefly looked like it would be over before it started. Seated in court were several actresses, including Marisa Tomei and Kathy Najimy, as well as activists for the Time's Up and #MeToo movements.

In May, Weinstein was charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving the two women. He turned himself into New York City Police at the time. Since then, one of the six counts against him was dropped by the Manhattan district attorney after evidence emerged that cast doubt one of his accusers.

If convicted, Weinstein still faces a minimum of 10 years in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.