The #Me­Too move­ment has sent Hol­ly­wood fig­ures into ex­ile, but not to jail.

Hol­ly­wood fig­ures los­ing jobs but not fac­ing le­gal trou­bles

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - By An­drew Dal­ton

LOS AN­GE­LES — The #Me­Too move­ment has sent dozens of once-pow­er­ful Hol­ly­wood play­ers into ex­ile, but few of them have been placed in hand­cuffs or jail cells. And it’s in­creas­ingly ap­par­ent that the lack of crim­i­nal charges may re­main the norm.

Har­vey We­in­stein has been charged with sex­ual as­sault in New York, and Bill Cosby was sent to prison in Penn­syl­va­nia in the year since sto­ries on We­in­stein in The New York Times and The New Yorker set off waves of rev­e­la­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct in Hol­ly­wood. But those two cen­tral fig­ures are ex­cep­tions.

A task force launched in Novem­ber by Los An­ge­les County Dis­trict At­tor­ney Jackie Lacey to han­dle the surge in al­le­ga­tions against en­ter­tain­ment fig­ures has taken up crim­i­nal cases in­volv­ing nearly two dozen en­ter­tain­ment-in­dus­try fig­ures. None has been charged.

The lack of pros­e­cu­tions stems from a clash be­tween the #Me­Too ethos, which en­cour­ages vic­tims to come for­ward years or even decades af­ter abuse and ha­rass­ment that they’ve kept pri­vate, and a le­gal sys­tem that de­mands fast re­port­ing of crimes and hard ev­i­dence.

The task force has con­sid­ered charges against 22 sus­pects, in­clud­ing We­in­stein, Kevin Spacey, di­rec­tor James Toback and for­mer CBS CEO Les­lie Moonves, all of whom have de­nied en­gag­ing in any sex that was not con­sen­sual.

Charges have al­ready been re­jected for most.

In 14 of the closed cases, charges were de­clined be­cause the al­le­ga­tions were re­ported too late and thus out­side the statute of lim­i­ta­tions. The rest were turned down ei­ther for in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence or be­cause the ac­cuser re­fused to co­op­er­ate with in­ves­ti­ga­tors af­ter ini­tially re­port­ing the in­ci­dents.

Fa­tima Goss Graves, pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Women’s Law Cen­ter, which over­sees the Time’s Up le­gal de­fense fund, said for some “the act of re­port­ing, putting it on the record is crit­i­cal, even if they’re be­yond the lim­i­ta­tions.”

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