Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregory Jones said he was rejecting a bid by prosecutors to drop the case. He set a hearing for June 12 to determine how to proceed.
Prosecutors under new district attorney Todd Spitzer claimed they didn't have enough evidence to prove the charges against orthopedic surgeon Grant Robicheaux and girlfriend Cerissa Riley.
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Robicheaux, now 39, and Riley, 32, were accused in 2018 of multiple sexual assaults, when then-Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told reporters that investigators were sifting through thousands of videos and photos on Robicheaux's cellphone - some showing women barely responsive.
Attorneys for women who say they were drugged and sexually assaulted by the pair blasted the move to dismiss the case.
Robicheaux and Riley have pleaded not guilty.
Friday's decision comes months after the judge said he needed more time to make a decision on whether or not to dismiss the charges.
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In February, the judge said he wasn't ready to drop the case yet as Spitzer had requested. He said he needed more knowledge of the case and evidence first.
"Still in shock, still can't believe this has happened to us," Robicheaux said at the time.
"I am absolutely confident that whatever questions the judge had and may have will be sufficiently and overwhelmingly answered when he gets the opportunity to see the reports," Cohen said.
The DA's office said it stands on its three-month review of every piece of evidence, determining there wasn't enough to proceed.
In a statement released in February, Spitzer said: "Judge Jones has been involved in this case from its inception and it is completely reasonable that he would want a thorough understanding of the facts."
Part of Spitzer's argument has been to put blame on Rackauckas, accusing him of using the publicity of the case to help his campaign, therefore embellishing the facts.
"Setting all that aside, the tragedy is just dumping the victims here," Rackauckas said.
But the judge said at the time that politics have infected the case, making it a toxic cocktail.
Note: The video in the media player above is from previous coverage.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.