entertainment 4 days ago

D.A.'s Hollywood sex crimes unit weighs charges against Harvey Weinstein, Steven Seagal and others

Los Angeles Times — By Richard Winton Los Angeles Times

May 16-- LOS ANGELES-A special task force of Los Angeles County prosecutors is determining whether to file various sexual abuse charges against at least a half-dozen Hollywood celebrities, including producer Harvey Weinstein and actors Ed Westwick and Steven Seagal.

It is unclear that any of the cases will result in criminal charges. Some of the investigations by the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Beverly Hills police were turned over to the district attorney's task force focusing on sexual crimes in the entertainment industry nearly six months ago, according to the office. All officials will say publicly is that the investigations are continuing.

Prosecutors have declined to bring charges against producer James Toback, who was accused of misconduct by several women, and agent Adam Venit, who was accused by actor Terry Crews of groping his crotch in February 2016.

Weinstein, the most high-profile target, is the subject of at least 20 investigations by authorities in London, New York, Beverly Hills and Los Angeles.

L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey is reviewing two investigations by Beverly Hills police into Weinstein since Dec. 18 and three LAPD investigations of the producer since Feb. 1, including an Italian actress' allegation of rape in 2013.

According to law enforcement sources, detectives believe that case is promising for prosecution because the woman told her story to three people, including a priest, relatively soon after the alleged attack. LAPD detectives also have obtained bills showing the woman was a guest at the Beverly Hills hotel where she claims Weinstein attacked her, said the sources, who were not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Weinstein has denied any involvement with the woman and detectives have been unable to determine that Weinstein was at the hotel.

L.A. County prosecutors are also reviewing two LAPD investigations into British actor Ed Westwick, a star of "Gossip Girl."

According to sources, the district attorney's office has asked the LAPD to further investigate the allegations against Westwick.

Actor/producer Steven Seagal is the subject of at least three LAPD investigations and, according to prosecutors, they received one of those probes in January.

Others whose cases are under review include agent Tyler Grasham, who was fired last October by Beverly Hills-based Agency for Performing Arts amid allegations of abuse and harassment. The LAPD investigated and fowarded one case to prosecutors Jan. 31.

Prosecutors in April began reviewing allegations involving Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey that were investigated by the Sheriff's Department. But the date of the alleged incident falls outside the statute of limitations.

Two LAPD investigations into Dallas Clayton, a children's author and muralist, have been under review since December. The artist's attorney has adamantly denied any wrongdoing.

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