Ever since the first allegations were made against Harvey Weinstein, a once powerful member of the Hollywood elite, more and more people have come forward with tales of sexual harassment. Men and women alike have accused everyone from Dustin Hoffman to Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct. This has clearly become a huge problem, that has no end in sight. As such, the LAPD has formed a special talks force, specifically aimed at investigating sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey recently announced the creation of this task force, which will be made up of “veteran sex crimes prosecutors.” This team will work together and examine each case carefully and their sole job will be to look at cases of sexual misconduct that are brought forth for criminal prosecution. Here’s what Lacey had to say in a statement about the newly formed LAPD task force.
“In response to the widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, I have established a task force of specially trained deputy district attorneys who are ready to evaluate these cases if any are referred to my office for criminal prosecution. I have assigned the group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to work together to ensure a uniformed approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution.”
The fact that the sheer amount of allegations brought against an increasing number of those working in the entertainment industry have warranted its own task force is significant. Recently, accusations have been made against comedian Louis C.K., who admitted to the claims made against him, as well as Star Trek actor George Takei, producer Andrew Kreisberg, director James Toback and former Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick. Though, all three have denied the claims brought against them.
Currently, the LAPD is investigating at least two of the allegations made against Harvey Weinstein, as well as one of the accusations made against Ed Westwick, who said in a statement that he’s cooperating with authorities. The Beverly Hills Police Department is also said to be investigating accusations made against James Toback. However, as it stands, none of the accusations have warranted criminal prosecution. At least not yet.
“To date, we have not received any cases from law enforcement for possible criminal filing. We are in communication with the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments.”
While many of these accusations have been coming forward in recent weeks, this problem dates back decades, as many of the alleged encounters occurred years ago. That can be problematic, as there are limitations on how long a person can be convicted of an alleged crime. For many of these, the statute of limitations has run out.
It took a long time for this behavior in Hollywood to come to light, but it looks as though things are going to change as a result. This task force, which was announced via a press release by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, is evidence of that. As time goes on, the dominoes are surely going to continue to fall. This is a pit that simply may have no bottom to it.