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In pretrial hearing, judge refuses to dismiss charges against Harvey Weinstein

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Updated December 20, 2018 09:53 AM EST

WASHINGTON (CIRCA) — Judge James Burke on Thursday morning opted not to dismiss the sexual assault charges against Harvey Weinstein.

In pretrial hearing, judge refuses to dismiss charges against Harvey Weinstein

The case will move forward, with the next hearing set for March 7.

LOS ANGELES (CIRCA) — Since his arrest in May, the already astounding number of accusations against Harvey Weinstein, and the scope of the #MeToo movement itself, have only grown.

But ahead of his first pretrial appearance, the fate of the movie mogul is still unclear.

Harvey Weinstein
FILE - In this July 9, 2018 file photo, Harvey Weinstein is escorted in handcuffs to a courtroom in New York. Weinstein, who was previously indicted on charges involving two women, was due in court for arraignment on charges alleging he committed a sex crime against a third woman. For many, the Weinstein case laid bare the movie industry’s systemic gender inequalities. Twelve months later, the dust isn’t anywhere close to settling. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Weinstein faces a possible life sentence on charges of rape and sexual assault, but Thursday, his lawyer, Ben Brafman, will seek a dismissal of all charges on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.

Brafman also may release emails between the accusers and Weinstein, which the defense claims will prove these were consensual relationships. Legal counsel for the accusers have expressed concerns of confidentiality should the emails be released.

Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial April 26, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. Cosby was convicted of drugging and molesting a woman in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Unlike with the case against Bill Cosby, New York state, where Weinstein’s case resides, rarely allows for “prior bad act” testimonies like those that helped secure Cosby’s three- to 10-year conviction in Pennsylvania.

Asia Argento
Actress Asia Argento pumps her fist on stage during the closing ceremony of the 71st Cannes Film Festival in southern France on May 19, 2018. Argento is a Harvey Weinstein accuser, but she's unlikely to take part in the trial after The New York Times reported in August that she settled a complaint filed alleging she sexually assaulted a 17-year-old. (Vianney Le Caer)

Additionally, Weinstein accuser Asia Argento will likely not take part in the trial after The New York Times reported in August that she settled a complaint filed alleging she sexually assaulted a 17-year-old.

Weinstein-A Year Later-Opportunities for Women
FILE - In this May 12, 2018 file photo, 82 film industry professionals stand on the steps of the Palais des Festivals to represent what they describe as pervasive gender inequality in the film industry at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. In the year after the downfall of Harvey Weinstein and the rise of #MeToo awareness, women in Hollywood are still processing and evaluating what, if anything, has fundamentally changed in their business — from the nature of scripts to basic opportunity. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)

Though this trial may not be an open-and-shut case from a legal standpoint, the #MeToo movement has led to an unrelenting wave of reform in the entertainment industry, the effects of which will be felt for years to come.

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