Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said he expects his department — which already is handling more than two dozen allegations of sexual misconduct by Hollywood figures — to investigate even more.
“We anticipate the LAPD and other jurisdictions will receive even more high profile sex crime reports in the coming weeks and months,” Beck said in an email. “We encourage all victims of sexual assault to come forward to report these crimes.”
The LAPD has 28 open investigations related to Hollywood and media figures, including mogul Harvey Weinstein, actor Ed Westwick, writer Murray Miller and agent Tyler Grasham. The department also has taken 37 other sex crimes reports that it has sent to other law enforcement agencies, believing the alleged crimes occurred in those jurisdictions. All have of the accused have denied wrongdoing.
The LAPD has established five teams of two detectives to exclusively investigate allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood. The teams include members of the cold-case unit because those detectives are experts in dealing with old criminal allegations that lack physical evidence.
Beck said his department is committed to looking into all allegations made by those who feel they were victimized.
“We recognize the significant trauma these victims suffer at the hands of the predators who commit these heinous crimes,” he said in the email. “Our detectives are coordinating closely with our local prosecutors and other police agencies including the NYPD. The high profile nature of these particular cases has not changed our unyielding commitment to seek justice for ALL victims of sexual assault.”
Both law enforcement sources and legal experts said building the cases is going to take time. Detectives likely will interview witnesses and accusers numerous times before bringing a case to prosecutors.
Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey announced this month that she has assigned a group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to examine the cases and “ensure a uniform approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution.”
Some Hollywood allegations already have been closed.
Actor Corey Feldman recently reported to the LAPD that he was sexually abused by two adults as a child in the industry. But police said the case could not go forward because the statute of limitations was already up.
Still, the LAPD praised Feldman for coming forward.