Mass. court allows felony charge against former legislator accused of sexual harassment

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts' highest court says prosecutors can proceed with a felony charge against a former state Democratic legislator accused of sexually harassing four women and trying to grope one of them.

An attorney for James Marzilli of Arlington, Mass., argued that the former lawman was charged with a crime that doesn't exist under state law. But the Supreme Judicial Court disagreed, saying Wednesday that Massachusetts law permits Marzilli to be prosecuted for the charge of felony attempted indecent assault and battery.

The court said there was "no logical or theoretical bar" preventing prosecution from going forward.

Marzilli allegedly made sexually explicit remarks to four women in June 2008 and tried to grope one of them.

He has pleaded not guilty.