Robert "Joe" Halderman, the CBS Corp. television producer accused of trying to blackmail David Letterman had his bid to get his attempted grand larceny case dismissed rejected by a New York state judge.
According to the Associated Press, Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Charles Solomon wrote that determining whether Halderman's conduct was blackmail or business "is a classic example of an issue that is best left for the jury to decide."
As previously discussed, Joe Halderman pleaded not guilty to attempted grand larceny in a case that revealed Letterman's love life to the public. Prosecutors say, Halderman demanded $2 million to keep quiet about the "Late Show" host's affairs with staffers. He tried to extort Letterman over three weeks, starting September 9, 2009 and ending September 30, 2009.
Halderman unsuccessfully argued that he was legally entitled to request payment from the television show host for a screenplay or a book he was writing.
Now Halderman, 52, could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. He is free on $200,000 bail and subject to an order of protection to stay away from Letterman.
His next court date is scheduled for March 9. Judge Solomon also denied Halderman's motion to suppress evidence seized through search warrants.
Prosecutors say the financially strapped Halderman threatened to reveal information he learned from reading in his then-girlfriend's diary that she was involved with Letterman, her boss.
Letterman's lawyer ultimately gave Halderman a phony $2 million check. The producer was arrested after depositing it.
But Halderman's lawyer, Gerald Shargel has said the transaction was just commerce, not a crime.
Both sides claim their legal arguments are supported by a 1999 federal appeals court ruling in the prosecution of Autumn Jackson, who threatened entertainer Bill Cosby that she would disclose she was his out-of-wedlock child if he didn't pay her millions of dollars, according to prosecutors.
- Letterman Extortion Case Dismissal Denied by Judge (Bloomberg)
- Letterman Extortion: Producer Busted; What is Extortion? (FindLaw)
- Halderman's criminal indictment charges of Attempted Grand larceny in the first degree by extortion (FindLaw)
- Who is Robert Joel Halderman? (Newsday)
- Classifications of Crimes (provided by Grunwald & Seman, P.C.)
- Criminal Defense FAQ (provided by Rothman & Associates, P.A.)