Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Thursday the creation of a specialized task force of prosecutors that will be prepared to evaluate cases of “sexual abuse in the entertainment industry,” if any such cases are presented to her office by law enforcement.
Lacey stressed that to date, no cases stemming from the recent “widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry” have been forwarded to her office for consideration of charges.
The Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments have both confirmed they are conducting investigations into movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by dozens of women. Beverly Hills police have also said they are reviewing allegations against director James Toback. Lacey confirmed that her office has been in contact with both departments.
Actor Terry Crews went to Los Angeles police this week to file a report against a Hollywood executive he claims groped him during a party last year. Actor Corey Feldman also filed a report with the LAPD this week alleging he was molested as a child actor, but the department announced Thursday the allegation was beyond the statute of limitations and could not be investigated further.
Five women came forward in a New York Times article published Thursday claiming that comedian/actor Louis C.K. of sexual misconduct.
Two women have accused “Gossip Girl” actor Ed Westwick of sexual assault — allegations he has strongly denied.
Weinstein has also denied any allegations of sexual assault, insisting he has never engaged in non-consensual sexual activity.
Lacey said she decided to create the task force in response to the rash of allegations in Hollywood.
“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,” she said. “I have assigned a group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to work together to ensure a uniformed approach to the legal review and possible prosecution in any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution.”
–City News Service
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