Kirsters Baish| Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck explained earlier in the week that he expects his department to officially open investigations into more accusations of sexual assault on top of the more than two dozen sexual misconduct cases against high profile Hollywood figures.
Currently, the LAPD has 28 different investigations open. All of which are tied to high profile Hollywood and media figures. One of these investigations is that of Harvey Weinstein. Many other big names including actor Ed Westwick, writer Murray Miller, as well as agent Tyler Grasham are being investigated as well. The LAPD is also dealing with 37 other sex crime reports which they have transferred to other agencies since some of the alleged crimes took place in different locations. Every single person accused has denied the allegations.
The LAPD has taken it upon themselves to establish five full-time teams with two experienced detectives on each in order to look into allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood. The teams also boast members of the cold-case unit as these detectives are professionals in dealing with archived criminal allegations which do not have physical evidence. These cases are compromised due to the fact that people tend to forget details of crimes after long periods of time.
Beck went on to explain that his department is completely set on looking at each allegation that has been made by anyone who has felt victimized by Hollywood elite.
The Los Angeles Times reported:
Never before has the department received so many sexual assault allegations involving high-profile figures at one time, including many complex cases that are years old with multiple alleged victims, officials say.
The department has re-engineered its detective staff to deal with the influx. The LAPD has established five teams of two detectives to exclusively investigate allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood. The teams include members of the cold-case unit, because those detectives are experts in dealing with old criminal allegations that lack physical evidence.
Police in Beverly Hills are also looking into 12 allegations of sexual assault in Hollywood. LAPD Captain Billy Hayes oversees the Robbery/Homicide Division. He is also overseeing the task force. Hayes explained, “They know where to go. They know how to job people’s memories. We’ve gotten an unprecedented number of calls.”
There are two main categories of crimes which have been alleged. One of the two is criminal sexual assault, which boils down to a charge such as rape. The second is the lesser crime of lewd acts which could be something like unwanted touching or masturbation. Allegations of lewd acts are much more challenging due to the statute of limitations, which in California can be as little as one year. Rape has a statute of limitations of 10 years, however.
There has already been a triage strategy put into place by the LAPD. Chief Charlie Beck has required that the entire department conduct interviews as well as take extensive reports from any person who makes an allegation, no matter how old the claim. Detectives then work alongside the Los Angeles County district attorney’s brand new Hollywood sex crimes task force in order to figure out if the alleged crime has taken place within the statute of limitations. Then, they begin investigating the crimes further.
The Los Angeles Times also wrote:
Hayes estimated that in 95% of the cases, there is no physical evidence. That leaves detectives focusing heavily on witness accounts, which, given the circumstances of many intimate claims, are limited. So that leaves detectives looking for corroborating witnesses, including people whom the alleged victims told of the incidents when they happened.
Weinstein has been accused of rape and forcible oral copulation by an Italian actress in 2013 as well as lewd acts by a second woman in 2015. The 2013 allegation occurred within the statute of limitations for rape, but the alleged 2015 incident is believed to be out of statute.
Weinstein’s rape accuser was interviewed by detectives for 2.5 hours. They are now trying to verify the claims made by the actress. Sources who are familiar with the Weinstein case have explained that the woman told at least three people about the alleged encounter.
Legal experts have explained that even alleged crimes which are past the statute of limitations hold value.
A former Los Angeles County sex crimes prosecutor, Dmitry Gorin, has explained, “Under California law, a prosecutor can put on witnesses who can testify to a defendant’s propensity to commit the crime. Here we have many prominent actresses alleging similar acts. I believe a judge would let them testify if Weinstein is charged with a sexual assault.”
In Weinstein’s case, the LAPD is also working with police in Beverly Hills, London, and New York. All have open criminal cases involving Weinstein.
Gorin went on, “The victims in each investigation could testify in each others’ cases depending on the law in the jurisdiction. There could be an alleged victim in England who comes to L.A. to testify.”
There have not been any criminal charges brought against Weinstein as of yet.
In addition to Weinstein, the LAPD is looking into many other high profile allegations which include, but are not limited to:
“Actress Kristina Cohen’s accusation that “Gossip Girl” actor Westwick raped her at a West Los Angeles home while she was trying to sleep in a guest bedroom. He has denied any wrongdoing.
An allegation of sexual assault made against “Girls” writer Miller, who denies wrongdoing.
An allegation of unwanted groping made by “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor Terry Crews.
Both law enforcement sources and legal experts said building the cases is going to take time. Detectives will likely interview witnesses and alleged victims numerous times before bringing a case to prosecutors.”
It was announced earlier in the month by County District Attorney Jackie Lacey that she has assigned a group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to work alongside one another in order to look at the cases and “ensure a uniform approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution.”
There have been some allegations that have been closed already.
It was reported to the LAPD by actor Corey Feldman that he was sexually abused by two different adults during the time he was a child in Hollywood. Police explained that the statute of limitations was already up so they could not pursue the case. This did not stop the LAPD from praising Feldman for coming forward and sharing his story.
The LAPD is well aware that the entire country is looking to them for answers. A lot of people’s lives have the potential to be ruined by these allegations. It’s time for the truth to come out and for those responsible for such heinous crimes be held accountable.