D.A. Jackie Lacey’s Entertainment Industry Sex Crimes Task Force Filed Sexual Assault Charges Against Harvey Weinstein
Photo: Jackie Lacey and staff
LOS ANGELES – District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s Entertainment Industry Sex Crimes Task Force have had their hands full since being handed film producer Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault case. Charges were filed last month – setting the Task Force into action, here and abroad.
“The investigation required task force members to travel around the United States and to Europe to interview victims and witnesses, some of whom were hesitant to get involved,” said Greg Risling, Assistant Chief. “Deputy district attorneys also had to thoroughly examine police reports, witness statements and materials presented by the defense in determining what criminal charges to file in the case.”
The trial’s closing arguments began 02/13/2020, with Weinstein (dob 3/19/52) never testifying. He’s maintained his innocence throughout the case.
A sex-crime case such as this presents challenges due to lack of corroborating witnesses and physical evidence. Additionally, victims may delay reporting the crimes.
Further challenges arise when accusations involve powerful individuals – especially in the area of gaining the trust of the victims and witnesses. Of the eight women who accused Weinstein of sexual assault over several decades, three claims were declined as much too old to prosecute, and three more are currently under review.
Of the remaining two cases that were charged, “Jane Doe 1 accused Weinstein of rape in a hotel room in February 2013,” said Risling. “She reported the crime to police in 2017 and deputy district attorneys were presented with the completed police investigation on Feb. 1, 2018.”
“The case of Jane Doe 2 was initially presented to New York prosecutors and then routed to the Los Angeles Police Department, who contacted her on Oct. 29, 2018,” said Risling. “Her case was investigated by police and then presented to prosecutors on Feb. 22, 2019.
Los Angeles County D.A. Jackie Lacey announced 01/06/2020 that the film producer was charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013. “On Feb. 18, 2013, Weinstein allegedly went to a hotel and raped a woman after pushing his way inside her room,” said Lacey. ” The next evening, the defendant is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a hotel suite in Beverly Hills.”
Deputy D.A. Paul Thompson of the Sex Crimes Division is prosecuting Case BA483663, which charged Weinstein with one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint.
The defendant faces up to 28 years in state prison, if convicted as charged. Bail was recommended at $5 Million. The ongoing case remains under investigation by the L.A. and Beverly Hills PDs and the DA’s Bureau of Investigation.
“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” Lacey said. “I want to commend the victims who have come forward and bravely recounted what happened to them. It is my hope that all victims of sexual violence find strength and healing as they move forward.”