Stay in the country, Harvey Weinstein — the police may want to have a word
Authorities in New York and London are looking into possible criminal sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. They’re going through old records, asking for anyone with information to come forward, and examining at least one new allegation, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
Though dozens of women have told stories of sexual predation by the Hollywood mogul in the past week, beginning with reports in the New York Times and the New Yorker that blew the story open, Weinstein has never been criminally charged.
New York police investigated him in 2015 when a 22-year-old Italian actress and model reported he had groped her, and she was sent into a meeting with him wearing a wire that picked up the now-infamous snippet of conversation from a hotel hallway. But the Manhattan District Attorney determined there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute, and the statute of limitations on the allegations of forcible touching, a misdemeanor, have expired.
Now the AP cites British media saying London’s Metropolitan Police force is investigating an allegation made Wednesday that allegedly took place in London in the 1980s. The accuser has not been identified.
Meanwhile, New York City police told the AP on Thursday that investigators are reviewing old files to see if any women previously reported assaults. None had yet been found, but police say they encourage anyone with information on Weinstein to report it.
The NYPD’s special victims unit detectives are being told to identify and interview potential victims, including those who have told their stories to the media, the AP reported, citing an anonymous law enforcement source. At least three women who spoke to the New Yorker said they had been raped by Weinstein, who has maintained that he believed all the encounters were consensual.
Varying statutes of limitations in relevant jurisdictions will largely determine whether Weinstein ever faces criminal charges. However, some assaults described in the New Yorker piece took place in New York, where first-degree sexual assault has no time limit.
Weinstein has issued multiple statements in the past week, including a comment to paparazzi on Wednesday outside his daughter’s Los Angeles home. “I’m not doing OK but I’m trying. I got to get help. You know what, we all make mistakes,” he’s seen saying in a TMZ video. “A second chance, I hope.”
TMZ reported that Weinstein has since made his way to a facility in Arizona for treatment, including for sex addiction, after initial reports that he was headed to Europe.
But with investigations into Weinstein’s behavior brewing in New York, he may be better off staying in the U.S. for the time being.