Hollywood producer Eric Weinberg arrested again after D.A. files 18 sex abuse and assault charges
Hollywood producer Eric Weinberg was taken into custody by Los Angeles police Tuesday after prosecutors charged him with 18 counts of sexual assault, following years of abuse allegations from women he’d met around Hollywood.
The former “Scrubs” co-executive producer was arrested by sex crimes detectives after the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office charged him with multiple counts of rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual battery, false imprisonment, assault by means to cause great bodily harm and sexual penetration by a foreign object, court records show.
More than half a dozen women have made allegations over the last seven years that Weinberg, 62, lured them to his home, often under the guise of a photo shoot, before restraining and sexually assaulting them, police interviews and records obtained by The Times in July showed.
Los Angeles Police Department sex crime investigators previously arrested him on July 14 in connection with multiple sexual assaults, including rape, between 2012 and 2019. LAPD Capt. Kelly Muniz said the department had identified at least eight women Weinberg may have victimized. Prosecutors said Wednesday that “dozens” of women had come forward since news of Weinberg’s arrest first broke.
“I believe that as a society we must do more to protect women and girls,” Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference. “Socially, for far too long, we have accepted these assaults and sexual assaults as a reality that women must guard against.”
LAPD booked Producer Eric Weinberg on multiple counts of sex assault, include rape, between 2012 and 2019
Gascón said the allegations that led to the filing of charges were made by five different women and stemmed from incidents between 2014 and 2019.
The district attorney said prosecutors asked a judge to deny Weinberg bail, given the seriousness of the charges, but their request was denied. Weinberg was released in lieu of $5 million on Wednesday.
“If you’re wealthy, you get to bail out. If you’re poor, you get to stay in regardless of the seriousness of the offense,” said Gascón, a longtime opponent of cash bail. “Mr. Weinberg was able to commit these crimes due to his power and wealth and privilege.”
For the record:
12:19 p.m. Oct. 6, 2022Robin Sax is a criminal defense attorney representing Weinberg. An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Sax as Weinberg’s attorney in an unrelated child custody case.
Weinberg could not be reached for comment and a call to his criminal defense attorney, Robin Sax, was not immediately returned.
But his attorney in an unrelated child custody case, Karen Silver, denied all wrongdoing, calling the women’s declarations a “blatant smear campaign” with “unconscionable and unsubstantiated allegations” that are designed to portray Weinberg in the “most horrendous light.
Weinberg’s arraignment has been scheduled for Oct. 25.
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Micha Star Liberty, a Bay Area civil rights attorney who represents some of the women accusing Weinberg of abuse, said in a statement that she was “grateful that the district attorney has acted in furtherance of accountability.”
“The significant number of victims and the horrific impact inflicted upon those women will not go unremediated,” she said. “We will not rest until there is justice.”
According to police and civil court records, Weinberg lured women from coffee bars, supermarkets and a Los Feliz pie shop to his Edgemont Street home.
After one encounter, a woman began using a Facebook group to warn others about Weinberg’s alleged behavior, according to a declaration filed in family court. Los Angeles police had investigated Weinberg on suspicion of sexual assault on two different occasions before his July arrest, records show.
During divorce and child custody proceedings in October 2020, three women testified that Weinberg sexually assaulted them during photo sessions. His then-wife’s lawyer alleged Weinberg also tried to pick up a teenage girl who attended their son’s high school and the girl turned out to know his son, according to a 2020 child custody filing in L.A. County family court.
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Detectives have said Weinberg would approach women in their 20s and 30s and set up photo shoots with them. Sometimes he talked about his career in Hollywood.
Weinberg worked as a producer or screenwriter on 92 episodes of “Scrubs,” a popular sitcom starring Zach Braff from 2001 to 2007. He also served as a producer on “Veronica’s Closet,” “Californication” and “Anger Management,” as well as “Men at Work,” which starred Danny Masterson, who has also been charged with sexual abuse of multiple women.
Masterson’s trial on three counts of rape is scheduled to begin this month.
LAPD investigators previously presented cases to prosecutors involving allegations that Weinberg raped women in April and August of 2014, but the district attorney’s office declined to prosecute, citing insufficient evidence, according to court records and police.
“It wasn’t until detectives received a recent late-reported rape that they opened another investigation into Weinberg,” LAPD officials said in a statement to The Times. “It was ... this new reported crime that led detectives to the additional victims being identified.”
Detectives have since presented several new cases, which are under review with the district attorney’s office, authorities said.
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According to an LAPD statement, detectives knew the Facebook group was created after the initial cases against Weinberg were rejected, and investigators are looking into social media posts to identify other possible victims.
Documents filed in a family law case between Weinberg and his ex-wife show allegations from three women of sexually violent encounters with him from 2014 to 2019. The dates in these incidents do not correspond with other allegations previously declined by prosecutors. The Times does not identify victims of sexual assault without their consent unless they publicly discuss their allegations.
One young woman alleged that she was 22 when she met Weinberg at a coffee shop, Republic of Pie, in North Hollywood’s arts district.
“Eric raped and physically assaulted me in 2014 after convincing me to come to his home for a photo shoot,” she said in a 2020 declaration filed in a family law case involving Weinberg.
The woman said Weinberg seemed professional, showing her the photographs he had shot of other women and telling her he was a father of three. On April 29, 2014, they met at his home, she said. She agreed to undress down to her bra and underwear, and Weinberg told the woman she needed to apply lotion “because it was good for the lighting,” court records show.
“While Eric was putting lotion on my back‚ he began to take off my underwear.... I never told Eric he could undress me, and I did not consent to him putting his tongue on me,” the woman said in a court declaration. “I did not know what was happening and was terrified. I did not know how I was going to get away from him. I completely froze up.”
She said he continued to take photographs as he pinned her to the bed and forced her to perform oral sex. He then choked her “and squeezed so hard that I thought I was going to pass out,” and then he raped her, she alleged in the declaration. Afterward, she said, he loaded the photos onto a flash drive and gave it to her.
In another sworn declaration, a 31-year-old North Hollywood storyboard artist said she met Weinberg at a Ralph’s in February 2019. He asked if she modeled and whether her breasts were natural, she said, then offered to take photographs of her after telling her about his family and his work on “Scrubs.”
She said when she came to his home, the photo shoot began in what seemed to be a girl’s bedroom. At first, he was professional, but as the naked model and the photographer moved to other locations, things took a sexually violent turn, according to court documents.
Nearly a year later, court records show, a 30-year-old woman met Weinberg on the online dating app OK Cupid and went for a glass of wine with him before going to his home to listen to music, according to the woman’s declaration filed in a family court case involving Weinberg.
After kissing in the living room, they went to the bedroom and began to remove their clothes consensually, but then he became aggressive, forcing her to perform sexual acts while he restrained her, the woman said in the declaration.
In the aftermath, she said in court documents, “he spent the hour trying to convince me that I had ‘misremembered’ ... [but] I knew I did not consent.”
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