AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A judge has denied conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ request to dismiss a lawsuit surrounding the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that he had called a hoax.

ajones Judge Denies Alex Jones Effort To Dismiss Sandy Hook Lawsuit

Alex Jones (credit: Getty Images)

The Infowars host is being sued for defamation in Texas by the parents of a 6-year-old who was among the 20 children and six adults killed in the Newtown, Connecticut, attack.

State District Judge Scott Jenkins on Wednesday ruled the case can proceed.

Jenkins also refused to dismiss a similar lawsuit brought by a man who was falsely identified on the Infowars website as the gunman who killed 17 people at a Florida high school in February.

Jones has since admitted that the Sandy Hook killings occurred. His attorneys defended his speech in court as “rhetorical hyperbole,” but denied it was defamation.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)