2 weeks ago
It’s looking increasingly likely there won’t be a sequel in the way authorities handle sexual assault and rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
Detectives across two continents — New York City, Los Angeles and London — have opened criminal cases against Weinstein within the past two months since bombshell reports in the New York Times and The New Yorker in which dozens of actresses came forward to accuse the Hollywood producer of sexual misconduct.
And according to London’s Guardian newspaper, investigators in those three cities are cooperating to buttress their own cases against Weinstein.
The Los Angeles Police Department is preparing a case against Weinstein over an alleged rape of an unnamed actress in a hotel in Beverly Hills in 2013. “It’s my understanding that they are also coordinating their efforts with other jurisdictions, like New York City,” the victim’s lawyer, David Ring, told the Guardian.
The NYPD also is investigating two major accusations of rape from Boardwalk Empire actress Paz del Huerta and actress Lucia Evans — allegations that fall within the statue of limitations of the crime in New York.
There is extra incentive for the department two years after New York DA Cyrus Vance decided not to pursue charges against Weinstein for allegedly groping 22-year-old Italian model Ambra Battilana in his office — a decision many condemned as a sign of the movie mogul’s political influence.
“There is a lot of pressure on here,” New York attorney Jeanne Christensen told The Guardian. “Because they are accused of giving Weinstein a pass [in 2015]. A lot of political pressure. But by all indications, they are taking the case very seriously.”
Weinstein has denied any non-consensual sexual misconduct.
London’s Metropolitan police, meanwhile, are investigating three cases against Weinstein.
Legal experts, however, told the newspaper that they believe the clearest path against the disgraced former head of the Weinstein Company is in civil court, “where rules about evidence involving a defendant’s character and the standard of proof are less stringent than in criminal court.”