Judge Says Nick Carter Can Continue to Pursue His Counterclaim Against Sexual Battery Accuser

Shannon Ruth, the woman accusing Nick Carter of assaulting her more than 20 years ago, filed a motion to dismiss his counterclaim in February

nick carter
Nick Carter. Photo: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty

Nick Carter will be able to continue his counterclaim against the woman who sued him for sexual battery, a judge said Wednesday.

At a hearing in Las Vegas for which Carter was present, Judge Nancy Alff ruled that the Backstreet Boys singer, 43, can pursue his claims against Shannon Ruth, whom he says has falsely accused him in an extortion attempt.

Ruth sued Carter in December, alleging that the star sexually assaulted her in 2001, when she was 17 and he was 22. He then filed a counterclaim against her in February, and weeks later, Ruth moved to have that counterclaim dismissed. She alleged at the time that the singer filed his counterclaim "with the intent to harass and intimidate [her], impede her right to free speech, and use his considerable wealth and celebrity status to outlast" her.

Wednesday's hearing was on Ruth's Anti-SLAPP motion, and Carter's legal team presented evidence from 15 witnesses, including an alleged friend of Ruth's who was at the Tacoma Dome performance on the night of the alleged assault.

Other evidence provided by Carter's team included an affidavit from an online video producer who claimed he was encouraged by the singer's late brother Aaron Carter to "join a smear campaign" organized by former teen pop singer Melissa Schuman, who previously accused Carter of rape, and her father Jerry.

RELATED VIDEO: Nick Carter Sued for Sexual Battery in 2001 Fan Incident as Source Denies Allegations

Carter has denied Ruth's claims from the start, with his attorney Michael Holtz telling PEOPLE at the time that her allegations were "not only legally meritless but also entirely untrue."

Ruth, who has autism and cerebral palsy, claimed she was waiting in an autograph line after a Backstreet Boys show in Tacoma, Washington when Carter invited her to his bus.

The singer allegedly asked Ruth if she wanted a drink, and when she requested apple juice, he gave her a red-colored drink he called "VIP juice," the documents claim. Though Carter allegedly said the beverage was cranberry juice, Ruth believes it also contained alcohol.

The documents claim that Carter brought Ruth to the bathroom, then demanded she performed oral sex on him. Afterward, she alleges that the singer continued to sexually assault her on a bed. Ruth claimed that she was a virgin before the encounter, and that she contracted HPV.

Ruth said that she did not report the alleged assault earlier because the singer allegedly told her "she would go to jail if she told anyone what happened."

In Carter's counterclaim, he accused Ruth and Schuman of taking advantage of the #MeToo movement and using it to launch a five-year conspiracy to "defame and vilify" him and "otherwise ruin his reputation for the purposes of garnering attention and fame and/or extorting money."

The countersuit described Schuman and Ruth as "opportunists" who set out to "destroy innocent lives," and caused more than $2.3 million in business losses after the December accusation.

During Wednesday's hearing, Alff told Ruth's legal team that she was denying their anti-SLAPP motion both because Ruth hadn't met her burden and because Carter had met his to show sufficient evidence supporting his counterclaims.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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