N.Y., Lon­don po­lice re­new We­in­stein probe

De­tec­tives are tak­ing a fresh look into sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - NATION & WORLD -

NEW YORK — Po­lice de­tec­tives in New York and Lon­don are tak­ing a fresh look into sex­ual as­sault al­le­ga­tions against Har­vey We­in­stein now that some 30 women have ac­cused the Hol­ly­wood film pro­ducer of in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct.

New York Po­lice Depart­ment spokesman Peter Don­ald said Thurs­day that in­ves­ti­ga­tors were re­view­ing po­lice files to see if any­one else re­ported be­ing as­saulted or ha­rassed by him.

So far, no filed com­plaints have been found, he said, other than one well-known case that prompted an in­ves­ti­ga­tion in 2015, but au­thor­i­ties are en­cour­ag­ing any­one with in­for­ma­tion on We­in­stein to con­tact the depart­ment.

Lon­don po­lice were also look­ing into a claim it had re­ceived from the Mersey­side force in north­west­ern Eng­land, British me­dia re­ported Thurs­day. Mersey­side po­lice said the al­le­ga­tion was made a day ear­lier and con­cerned “an al­leged sex­ual as­sault in the Lon­don area in the 1980s.”

Some 30 women — in­clud­ing ac­tresses An­gelina Jolie, Ash­ley Judd and Gwyneth Pal­trow — have spo­ken out re­cently to say We­in­stein had sex­u­ally ha­rassed or sex­u­ally as­saulted them. We­in­stein was fired Sun­day by The We­in­stein Co., a studio he co-founded with his brother.

Some of the al­le­ga­tions in­volved con­duct at ho­tels in Bev­erly Hills, but po­lice there didn’t re­turn calls on whether they were in­ves­ti­gat­ing any pos­si­ble crimes. The Los An­ge­les Po­lice Depart­ment has no open in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

De­tec­tives in the NYPD’s spe­cial-vic­tims unit were in­structed to iden­tify and speak with any po­ten­tial vic­tims, in­clud­ing the women who spoke about their en­coun­ters with We­in­stein in a re­cent New Yorker ar­ti­cle, ac­cord­ing to a law en­force­ment of­fi­cial who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

In an ex­pose in The New Yorker, a for­mer ac­tress, Lu­cia Evans, said We­in­stein forced her to per­form oral sex in 2004 when she was a col­lege stu­dent.

At least one other un­named woman said she was raped by We­in­stein, but the ar­ti­cle did not dis­close when or where it hap­pened. A third woman, ac­tress Asia Ar­gento, told the magazine that We­in­stein forcibly per­formed oral sex on her in 1997 at a ho­tel in France.

Un­der New York law, mak­ing some­one en­gage in oral sex by phys­i­cal force or the threat of it is a first-de­gree crim­i­nal sex­ual act. There’s no le­gal time limit for bring­ing charges.

Through a spokes­woman, We­in­stein has de­nied any non­con­sen­sual sex­ual con­duct with any women.

He reap­peared briefly on Wed­nes­day out­side a Los An­ge­les home, telling the pa­parazzi he’s “not do­ing OK,” but he’s hop­ing for a “sec­ond chance,” ac­cord­ing to video posted by celebrity web­site TMZ. He also told the pho­tog­ra­phers he needs to “get help” and “we all make mis­takes.”

On Thurs­day, ac­tress Kate Beck­in­sale re­counted that she was 17 when We­in­stein greeted her in his bathrobe. Years later, Beck­in­sale said, she met We­in­stein again and he asked if he had tried any­thing at their first meet­ing. She said she re­al­ized “he couldn’t re­mem­ber if he had as­saulted me or not.”

The ac­tress said she re­jected sev­eral of­fers over the years to work with We­in­stein, and he would of­ten re­spond with anger, pro­fan­ity and threats. She called for in­dus­try changes to be made to “stop al­low­ing our young women to be sex­ual can­non fod­der.”

The Eastern branch of the Writ­ers Guild of Amer­ica pledged to take ac­tion to pre­vent fu­ture abuse, not­ing that “sex­ual ha­rass­ment and as­sault have long been hall­marks of the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try.”


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