A Los Angeles task force has been created to evaluate cases concerning accusations of sexual abuse in Hollywood.
“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,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement Thursday.
“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.”
Los Angeles detectives have already begun investigating several accusations, including allegations against Harvey Weinstein of rape and forced oral copulation, and accusations against film director James Toback, whom hundreds of women have accused of sexual assault, harassment or misconduct. Beverly Hills police are investigating similar claims against Weinstein and Toback.
Two women accused “Gossip Girl” actor Ed Westwick of rape this week, and LAPD is investigating one of the allegations by actress Kristina Cohen. Producer and director Brett Ratner, actor Kevin Spacey and comedian Louis C.K. have also been accused of sexual misconduct.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor Terry Crews on Wednesday told TMZ that he filed a report with the LAPD that a Hollywood executive groped him. He hasn’t publicly revealed the man’s identity. Crews said he also plans to file a civil suit against the executive.
Crews tweeted in October that a “high level” executive “groped [his] privates” at a Hollywood function last year. “He just grinned like a jerk,” Crews said.
Some cases can’t be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations, including Corey Feldman’s accusations of abuse by adults in the industry when he was a child.
Lacey said that no cases have been forwarded to prosecutors yet, but her office has been in contact with Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police.