Scores of Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested during a September rally near Union Square are expected in court this week.
Charges were dropped against a third of the 63 demonstrators who faced a judge Monday because prosecutors could not prove the accusations beyond a reasonable doubt, according to the Manhattan district attorney's office. Cases against the others were adjourned to later this year.
Gideon Oliver of the National Lawyers Guild, which is representing many of the protesters, said he was "somewhat surprised," but pleased with the high percentage of dismissals.
"It's certainly good that the District Attorney's office is taking a hard look at the cases - or at least some of them," Oliver said, adding that he hoped many more would be dismissed.
The district attorney's office declined to comment further on the dismissals or on other pending cases.
The charges stemmed from a Sept. 24 rally that gained national attention and helped the movement explode when videos showing NYPD Deputy Inspector Anthony Bologna pepper-spraying protesters went viral.
Nearly 50 more protesters are expected to appear in court Wednesday on charges from the Union Square rally and a protest the following week on the Brooklyn Bridge, at which 700 were arrested.