As the NYPD proclaims that it has “an actual case” stemming from new rape claims against Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced producer today faces a new investigation by Los Angeles police. The probe, which is in its early days, could see him behind bars for up to a year and possibly having to register as a sex offender if found guilty.
“We had a second victim come forward this week accusing Mr. Weinstein of lewd conduct, which occurred in 2015,” LAPD Public Information Office Tony Im told Deadline on Friday. “We are still working on the case,” he added of the matter that became public yesterday.
Beyond that, the LAPD had no more official information.
However, a law enforcement source told Deadline that the woman in question has “very credible claims” that detail an incident with “similar patterns to past allegations describing Weinstein’s behavior.” The incident in question here seemingly involves Weinstein allegedly exposing himself and masturbating in front of the woman.
Considered a misdemeanor under California law, lewd conduct carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine. However, if melded with indecent exposure, as it sometimes is, the charge could require that the guilty party register as a sex offender, which is a permanent status.
Where this might get more complicated for Weinstein, the cops and the alleged victim is that lewd conduct has to be reported with one year of the incident to be actionable. The event having occurred in 2015 would seem to stop any action. However, the offense also can be a year from when the individual discovered it occurred, to employ some legal jargon – which basically means when the woman says she realized what had happened, which seems to be the case here.
Representatives for Harvey Weinstein did not respond to a request for comment on this matter. Weinstein retained powerhouse criminal attorney Blair Berk on October 11 to represent him in any potential matters such as this new probe.
This new matter is in addition to the alleged 2013 sexual assault by Weinstein of an Italian woman that the department started looking into late last month. Dozens and dozens of women have gone public with accusations of sexual harassment or sexual assault by Weinstein since The New York Times published its detailed exposé on the producer on October 5.
Currently, UK Police and the Beverly Hills Police Department as well as the NYPD and the LAPD, are formally looking into allegations against Weinstein. The New York Attorney General’s office also issued subpoenas on October 23 against The Weinstein Company seeking documentation of their former co-chair.