Judge Sweet ruled Weinstein's behavior could fall under the federal definition of sex trafficking, explaining that previous courts had applied it to "defendants who have lured women, under false pretenses, with lucrative promises for sexual purposes".
The judge gave the thumbs-up Tuesday to the suit, which was filed by aspiring British actress Kadian Noble, claiming that the "Shakespeare In Love" producer violated federal laws against sex trafficking when he lured her to his Cannes, France, hotel room with false promises of an acting role for the objective of sex.
Weinstein's lawyers Phyllis Kupferstein said: 'This decision is just the first round, and merely finds that plaintiff has alleged enough to proceed with her case. We believe these claims are not legally or factually supported, and ultimately will not be sustained'.
Weinstein denies wrongdoing. His lawyers did not immediately return a request for comment.
FILE PHOTO: Aspiring British actor Kadian Noble, who has filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein in New York federal court accusing the movie producer of sex trafficking by inviting her to a hotel room in France and sexually assaulting her, appears at a news conference in New York City, New York, U.S., November 28, 2017.
Weinstein, who was one of the most powerful figures in Hollywood before the accusations surfaced in October, is separately facing criminal rape and sexual assault charges in Manhattan state court over allegations by three other women.
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His attorneys also reportedly argued that the lawsuit would not be in violation of sex trafficking laws as the legislation in question was meant to cover "commercial" sex acts and that Noble's case doesn't apply because she wasn't provided with anything of value.
Weinstein invited Noble to his hotel room in February 2014 to watch her demo reel before allegedly molesting her and forcing her into a bathroom to watch him masturbate. He has denied ever having non-consensual sex.
The judge cited evidence that Weinstein had promised Noble a film role and said "everything would be taken care of".
They said in a court filing allowing the case to continue would mean that the law would cover "all sexual activity occurring between adults in which one party holds a superior position of power and influence".
Allegations against Weinstein sparked a string of energized movements combatting sexual harassment across a number of industries, namely, the hashtag #MeToo movement, one of the most popularized movements against sexual harassment and assault across the globe.
After Weinstein was accused, his eponymous company Weinstein Co fired him and filed for bankruptcy, and he was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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