Like the Bill Cosby case that took the media by storm last year, Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has also been accused by multiple women of rape and sexual misconduct. However, in the case of Weinstein, more than 75 women have publicly accused him of inappropriate behavior, including sexual harassment and rape. Many of Weinstein’s accusers are famous actresses such as Rose McGowan and Asia Argento, who have all said publicly that Weinstein forced them into unwanted sex. Weinstein has since then denied all allegations against him.
Currently, Police departments in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Beverly Hills, California, have said that they are investigating potential criminal charges in at least 10 different cases, some involving women who have not spoken publicly. So far, only the NYPD has stated that it has enough evidence to arrest Weinstein and press charges. This is because the agency has a police report filed by actress Paz de la Huerta in October to report that Weinstein raped her twice in 2010. Additionally, at the time of the alleged assaults, de la Huerta had told her her therapist, SueAnne Piliero, who recently supplied a letter to the actress about her recollections from those sessions. Lastly, de la Huerta had told a journalist named Alexis Faith, who recorded the conversation but never published the story. She too provided the tape. Because de la Huerta alleges a forceful rape which happened after June 2006, within New York’s statute of limitations for rape in the first degree, her case is among the most compelling for prosecutors.
What is next? Currently, a senior sex crimes prosecutor has been assigned to the case in New York. Investigators are likely to present de la Huerta’s allegations to grand jury before making an arrest. The grand jury would then decide whether to indict Weinstein based on the standard of “reasonable cause” that he committed a crime. If an indictment is issued, prosecutors would then ask a judge to issue an arrest warrant.
Due to the allegations against him, Weinstein has been fired from the film production company he co-founded. He has hired to top defense lawyers to represent him in New York and Los Angeles.
California Statute of Limitations
Like New York, which eliminated its statute of limitations on rape charges back in 2006, California also amended its criminal code last year to eliminate the statute of limitations of rape and sexual assault charges. See S.B. 813. Prior to that, the state had a 10-year window. Continue reading