Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Looking Into Asia Argento Sexual Abuse Case

The actress and Me Too activist paid actor Jimmy Bennett $380,000 after he accused her of sexually assaulting him when he was 17, The New York Times reported.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said Monday that it is looking into the sexual abuse allegations against actress and director Asia Argento, a key figure in the Me Too movement.

Argento paid actor Jimmy Bennett $380,000 after he accused her of sexually assaulting him when he was 17, The New York Times reported Sunday. The actors had worked on a film in which Bennett played the son of Argento’s character. The incident allegedly occurred in a hotel in California, where the age of consent is 18.

LASD said Monday that it has not found a police report in its jurisdiction that pertains to the alleged assault. The department also said it had attempted to reach Bennett.

“After becoming aware of the allegations, the LASD’s Special Victims Bureau is attempting to reach out to the reported victim and/or his representatives in an effort to appropriately document any potential criminal allegations,” the department said in a statement. 

Neither Argento nor her lawyers have commented on the reported payment or the alleged incident. Lawyers for Argento and Bennett did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Argento was one of the first women to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault and has been an outspoken advocate for victim’s rights. 

Argento is not a U.S. citizen, but LASD has jurisdiction to investigate as long as the alleged crime occurred in Los Angeles, according to attorney Joshua L. Dratel, who has experience with extradition cases. The incident allegedly occurred in Marina del Rey, which is policed by LASD.

The case also depends on if the alleged victim wants to cooperate with officials and relive the incident again, Dratel added.

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