Update: The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office is creating a task force to investigate sexual harassment and assault allegations, The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. The announcement comes amid claims of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., and other Hollywood figures.
"In response to the widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, I have established a task force of specially trained deputy district attorneys who are ready to evaluate these cases if any are referred to my office for criminal prosecution," Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement. "I have assigned the group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to work together to ensure a uniformed approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution."
"To date, we have not received any cases from law enforcement for possible criminal filing," the statement continues. "We are in communication with the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments."
"We do not believe an indictment of Mr. Weinstein is imminent," a spokesperson for Weinstein said today, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter. "A formal presentation will be made on Mr. Weinstein’s behalf in the appropriate course of the investigation, and we strongly believe we will demonstrate that no criminal charges are warranted. Blair Berk and Ben Brafman will be defending Mr. Weinstein in any matters in New York."
The NYPD is building a case based on actress Paz de la Huerta's allegation that he raped her twice in 2010. Although the statute of limitations has expired for many of Weinstein's alleged victims, that's not the case for de la Huerta's alleged rape. At a press conference last week, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said her account was "credible" because she "articulate[d] each movement of the crime, where she was, where this happened," as reported by The Washington Post.
Refinery29 has reached out to the NYPD for comment.
Update, November 4, 2017: Los Angeles police confirmed on Friday that they are investigating a second claim of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein. The allegations have been described only as "lewd acts stemming from a 2015 incident."
Dmitry Gorin, a criminal defence attorney and former Los Angeles County sex crimes prosecutor, said that detectives in each city would likely integrate their efforts to look for possible witnesses and patterns. Investigations have begun in New York, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and London since early October. Authorities in New York and Los Angeles are already comparing notes, reports The Los Angeles Times.
Update, November 3, 2017: The New York Police Department held a press conference on Friday, November 3, about its investigation into Harvey Weinstein. The conference came after actress Paz de la Huerta told Vanity Fair that Weinstein raped her twice in 2010.
"We are happy with where the investigation is right now. Mr. Weinstein is out of state, so we would need an arrest warrant to arrest him. So, right now we are gathering our evidence. We continue to do so every day," chief of detectives Robert Boyce said during the press conference. "This is a collaborative effort between us and the district attorney of New York. So we'll work together to get this done."
Boyce also said during the conference that de la Huerta presented a "credible and detailed narrative," and that the NYPD is working with the New York County District Attorney on the case.
"I am not going to deny that we don't have probable cause (to make an arrest) but I will say we have an actual case going forward," Boyce said at the conference. "If this person was still in New York and it was recent, we would go right away and make the arrest. No doubt. But we are talking about a seven-year-old case and we need to move forward gathering evidence first."
This story was originally published on November 1, 2017 at 2:20 p.m.
Earlier this month, The New York Times published its exposé about Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual harassment. Shortly thereafter, The New Yorker published the accounts of three women who accused Weinstein of rape. In the past weeks, more than 50 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct of some sort.
Now, Weinstein is being investigated by the Beverly Hills police for sexual assault. The department is also investigating director James Toback, who has been accused of sexual harassment by at least 200 women. The Beverly Hills investigation news comes alongside additional investigations into Weinstein in London, Los Angeles, and New York, the Los Angeles Times noted.
Weinstein is also being sued by a Toronto-based actress, whose name is being kept anonymous, over two alleged sexual assaults that reportedly happened in 2000. The lawsuit is filed against Weinstein as well as the Walt Disney Company, which owns Miramax, Harvey and Bob Weinstein's studio. In the lawsuit, the actress claims she was invited to a business meeting with Weinstein at a hotel and that he talked about massages before forcing oral sex on her.
"Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein," the statement reads. "Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances."
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