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Victims of Harvey Weinstein should come forward, LAPD urges

Victims of Harvey Weinstein should come forward, LAPD urges
Harvey Weinstein in an undated file photo. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Police Department said women who feel they were victims of a crime at the hands of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein should report what happened to authorities.

"We absolutely encourage anyone who may be a victim of sexual assault to come forward and report the crime," Josh Rubenstein, the LAPD director of communications, said Monday.

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Los Angeles Police Capt. Billy Hayes, who oversees the Robbery Homicide Division that handles sex crimes, said the LAPD currently does not have any active investigations into Weinstein.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell also said his department "certainly will investigate any allegations that are brought to our attention, like we would do for anyone else."

A law enforcement source said the New York Police Department has opened an investigation into a 2004 incident. London police are investigating another case.

Weinstein Co., based in New York, fired Harvey Weinstein over the weekend after an investigation by the New York Times said he'd reached at least eight legal settlements, dating to 1990, with women over alleged harassment.

On Tuesday, the New Yorker published a story that included, among other allegations, claims that Weinstein had raped three women in the last 20 years. Among the alleged victims was actress Asia Argento, who appeared in "B. Monkey," a 1999 drama distributed by Miramax, then headed by Weinstein.

Weinstein, who previously apologized for some of his behavior, denied the rape claims. "Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein," a representative said in a statement, adding that "Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual."

The LAPD, the Sheriff's Department and L.A. district attorney said they have not reviewed any prior allegations into Weinstein.

Law enforcement was faced with a similar situation recently when accusers came forward alleging sexual assault by Bill Cosby. Law enforcement investigated those allegations, but none in California has resulted in criminal charges — in part because they are beyond the statue of limitations.

Los Angeles prosecutors last December declined to bring criminal charges against Cosby in the only two open cases locally in which he is accused of sexually assaulting women.

One of the cases involved Chloe Goins, 25. She told Los Angeles police and prosecutors that the comedian gave her a drink that caused her to black out during a party at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.

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UPDATES:

1 p.m.: Updated with information about Cosby cases.

Posted at 11:10 a.m.

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