The LAPD is “considering our options and the best course of action to take” a source within the department tells Deadline. “Discussions are on-going to determine where we stand in term of jurisdictional claims,” the well-placed blue insider added of the matter as the Weinstein scandal metastasizes.
Officially, Chief Charlie Beck’s team is taking a circumspect public stance, for now. “There is no investigation of Mr. Weinstein at this time,” a LAPD spokesperson told Deadline today. At this point it seems that there hasn’t not been a report or statement given the City of Angels police force by anyone directly allegedly a criminal action on Weinstein’s part.
As claims of sexual harassment and rape are swirling around Weinstein, any investigation that was to be conducted by the LAPD would then be passed on to the L.A. County District Attorney’s office to assess if they thought criminal charges were warranted. In anticipation of such actions by law enforcement on both coasts and elsewhere, powerhouse criminal attorney Blair Berk was retained yesterday by Weinstein to join his legal team.
Right now, there is no statue of limitations in California on prosecuting rape cases, due to a law signed by Governor Jerry Brown in September 2016. That new state of affairs is widely seen as a response to potential criminal allegations against Bill Cosby that slipped beyond the law due to the previous 10-years limitations on such crimes in the Golden State. However, the new law only affects such sexual assaults that take place after January 1, 2017. Which, with the allegations leveled right now at Weinstein, likely means the Oscar winning producer will be only susceptible to incidents that occurred in the last decade in the state and city.
“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” a spokesperson for the producer said earlier this week as the allegations detailed in both the October 5 New York Times piece and a New Yorker story were unveiled. Weinstein was terminated from the Weinstein Company late on October 8 by his brother Bob Weinstein and the remaining members of the board.
As the LAPD ponder their next move in this matter, we hear that D.A. Jackie Lacey’s team is looking into what steps it could take in the ever growing Weinstein scandal. Part of that process for the L.A. D.A. is whether there are other avenues besides the sexual assault allegations that they could pursue, though these are very preliminary internal talks.
Back in early 2016, the LA County D.A.’s office declined to press charges against Cosby after an investigation by the LAPD into claims that the much accused comedian allegedly sexual assault two women in 2008 and 1965. “After evaluating all potential charges, there is insufficient evidence to prove these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt,” Lacey’s office said at the time.
Facing various civil lawsuits around the country and accused by over 60 women of assaulting and/or drugging them, the only criminal case against Cosby is the retrial set to commence in Pennsylvania next April. Due to the 12-year statute of limitation in the Keystone State, comedian was arrested in late 2015 for the alleged 2004 rape of Andrea Constand. Cosby’s first trial this summer on the matter ended in a mistrial – he’s since found new lawyers, again.
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