The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has declined to prosecute writer-director James Toback on five allegations of sexual assault and abuse. Hundreds of other women also have accused him of sex crimes – many relating to the casting of his movies – but the DA has dismissed these five cases because they were either outside the one-year statute of limitations or, in one case, because the alleged victim did not appear at a scheduled interview.
None of the five women is identified in the DA’s reports, but together they paint a disturbing pattern of behavior that is all but certain to finish his career, if not land him in jail. The WGA East, of which he is a member, is considering expelling him, and he was booted out of the DGA long ago for not paying his dues. His most recent writing and directing credit, ironically enough, was titled The Private Life of a Modern Woman, which was released last year. Toback has flatly denied all the allegations.
Here are descriptions the five cases and the DA’s reasons for not prosecuting:
Jane Doe #1 told the LAPD that she first met Toback in 1978. “Later that same year, she agreed to have dinner with him,” the report states. “After the dinner, she accompanied him to an unknown location where he pushed her against a wall and asked her to have sex with him. Victim refused and suspect drove her home. During the drive, the victim witnessed the suspect expose himself in the vehicle. The statute of limitation on these charges is one year and these incidents are outside the statute of limitations, therefore prosecution is declined.”
Jane Doe #2 told the LAPD that in 1980, Toback “spent in excess of an hour trying to verbally persuade her to engage in sexual intercourse with him. During this time, the suspect touched the victim’s chest and buttocks and attempted to kiss her mouth. The victim reports that the touching was over the clothes…but the statute of limitations has expired , therefore prosecution is declined.”
Jane Doe #3 told the Beverly Hills Police that she first met Toback in 2008, and that “she had dinner with the suspect and then agreed to accompany the suspect to what the victim understood to be a movie screening at a private residence. No one else was present when they arrived at the location. The suspect instructed the victim to masturbate in his presence. Victim reports she complied out of fear. During this time, the suspect sat in a chair by the door to the room. The suspect then instructed the victim to sit in the chair. The suspect knelt down in front of her, placed his hands the armrests and rubbed his penis on her bare legs until he ejaculated.” And once again, prosecution was declined because the alleged incident happened more than a year ago.
Jane Doe #4 told the Beverly Hills Police that she first met Toback in Las Vegas in 1993. “Suspect invited victim to Los Angeles to discuss film roles. During her first trip to Los Angeles, the suspect asked the victim to engage in sexual intercourse and the victim refused. During her second trip to Los Angeles, the suspect and the victim met at the Beverly Hills Hotel. While in a room, the suspect again asked the victim to engage in sexual intercourse and the victim again refused. As the victim sat in a chair, the suspect, while clothed, knelt in front of the victim and rubbed his groin on her leg until he ejaculated. Victim reports that he did this four times over several hours. Victim also states that the suspect also used her socked foot to rub his groin and ejaculate one time. Victim reports that the touching was never skin to skin and she was in fear of the suspect.” But because the alleged incident happened more than 15 years ago, the DA’s office had to decline prosecution.
Jane Doe #5 told the Beverly Hills Police that in 2008, Toback “rubbed his groin on her leg until he ejaculated,” but noted that she did not appear at the DA’s office for a scheduled interview. “The investigating officer made subsequent attempts to contact the victim in order to schedule another interview, but the victim did not respond.” The report states that this case too appears to be outside the statute of limitations, but noted that “if the victim makes herself available in the future, the People will review this case anew. At this time, prosecution is declined.”