Sex assault charges against Hollywood producer David Guillod dismissed
A Santa Barbara County judge Tuesday dismissed the remaining charges against Hollywood producer David Guillod, who was accused of sexually assaulting actress Jessica Barth and a waitress, weeks after another judge threw out charges involving four other accusers.
Guillod, 55, had originally been charged with rape and sexual assault involving six victims in L.A. and Santa Barbara counties; prosecutors decided to try the case combined in Santa Maria.
Last month, a judge in Santa Maria found insufficient evidence to try Guillod on sexual assault and rape charges involving four accusers in Santa Barbara and L.A. counties from 2014 to 2020, but found sufficient evidence to support a trial on eight sexual assault charges in connection with a 2012 attack on “Ted” actress Barth and a 2018 incident with the unidentified Los Angeles waitress, who said she was raped and sodomized.
On Tuesday, Santa Barbara County Deputy Dist. Atty. Jennifer Karapetian said that the remaining two accusers were sexually assaulted in Los Angeles County and that those two cases have been “referred back to Los Angeles County for them to decide whether or not charges will be filed.”
“We no longer have jurisdiction to move forward with the other counts,” she told Judge Gustavo E. Lavayen.
Philip K. Cohen, one of the producer’s attorneys, asked Lavayen to dismiss the remaining charges rather than wait until L.A. County prosecutors decide what to do.
Guillod, a talent manager and producer of “Atomic Blonde” and Netflix’s “Extraction,” was arrested in 2020 after a three-year inquiry involving Santa Barbara County investigators and Los Angeles police.
In the case of Barth, Guillod was charged with sexual penetration of an unconscious or unaware victim, sexual penetration of a drugged victim, oral copulation of an intoxicated victim, and oral copulation of an unconscious or unaware victim. If convicted in Barth’s case and the waitress’ case, the Hollywood super-manager could have received 12 years in prison.
Guillod stepped down as chief executive of Primary Wave Entertainment after Barth publicly accused him in October 2017 of drugging and raping her after a May 2012 dinner meeting. Barth first reported her allegations in 2012 to the Los Angeles Police Department and again went to the police years later after the wave of #MeToo accusations. She was also among those who accused convicted producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and has spoken out for #MeToo victims, telling her story and establishing an organization to help others report their predators.
Cohen, Guillod’s attorney, objected in court Tuesday when Karapetian told the judge the two victims wished to address the court. The judge allowed their statements to be entered in writing.
Cohen said that Guillod had sustained “irreparable damage … to his career, his family and his future.” Guillod, he said, had lived “for years under the pall of criminal allegations — and under the public’s ever-present presumption of guilt.”
“This is a bittersweet day,” Cohen said in a statement. “After a long and arduous battle, it is, of course, a great relief to finally put an end to this criminal case.”
The Santa Barbara County criminal case suffered a massive setback last month when Judge James K. Voysey dismissed all the counts related to four accusers who authorities alleged were raped by Guillod while they were intoxicated and unconscious. Voysey questioned the credibility of the women in ruling that there was insufficient evidence to bring their allegations to trial.
Former Los Angeles sex crimes prosecutor Dmitry Gorin said Voysey’s decision at a preliminary hearing to reject some of the allegations was rare. “It would be unusual to get the dismissal because the burden of proof is low unless the judge does not believe the victim based on the actions after the incident,” he said.
Voysey said he couldn’t believe that one of the accusers, an assistant, was raped by Guillod in December 2014 because the 21-year-old woman continued to participate at a work retreat in Santa Barbara’s wine country rather than leave.
“She was highly intoxicated. She was dancing on the tables. She drank 10 glasses of wine. Her dress was hiked up so everybody could see her undergarments. Her behavior was outrageous. She was outrageously drunk,” Voysey said. “But when you look at what happened the next day, if she felt something had been done to her, she would not have stayed there. … She would have gone back to L.A. and said, ‘I’ve had enough of this. I’m done with this,’ and left. That would have been logical and consistent for somebody who felt they had been raped.”
Voysey said that he never heard from any of the accusers directly and that three sent positive text messages to Guillod after the alleged incidents.
One of the accusers met Guillod on a dating app while he was out on $1-million bail for the other charges. The 28-year-old woman said she blacked out after drinking wine at Guillod’s house on a second date and woke up to find him having sex with her. Guillod’s lawyer noted that the producer texted her after, “had a great time, hope you did too,” and the woman responded, “me too, goodnight.”
Voysey found the evidence in Barth’s case sufficient to try Guillod, noting that the text messages Barth sent to a fellow actress and Guillod shortly after the alleged assault, the same day she visited the UCLA Rape Treatment Center for a four-hour sex assault exam, are “very consistent with what she has stated, about being so intoxicated she didn’t remember what happened.”
He also believed a jury should hear the charges involving a waitress in 2018. The unidentified woman told investigators Guillod lured her back to his nearby Sherman Oaks home, saying his daughter would be present.
It is those two incidents that L.A. County prosecutors will review again.
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