The spate of Hollywood accusations of sexual misconduct or outright sexual assault have become such a visible, hot-button issue that the LAPD is now creating an entirely new group to specifically focus on them. A new task force has been created, which will solely investigate claims against members of the Hollywood system. Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced the team’s creation on Thursday, saying the group was composed of “veteran sex crimes prosecutors” who will work together as a team.
“In response to the widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, I have established a task force of specially trained deputy district attorneys who are ready to evaluate these cases if any are referred to my office for criminal prosecution,” said Lacey. “I have assigned the group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to work together to ensure a uniformed approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution.”
The LAPD is reportedly in the midst of at least two allegations against Harvey Weinstein, and one against actor Ed Westwick. Director/writer James Toback, meanwhile, is being investigated by the Beverly Hills Police Department for some of the sexual misconduct claims made against him. The DA’s office, on the other hand, is still waiting for information from the police offices about each of those investigations, but this newly formed team would be getting involved once that information is provided.
“To date, we have not received any cases from law enforcement for possible criminal filing,” Lacey said. “We are in communication with the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments.”
Let’s hope this new team facilitates justice being served in many of these cases, going forward.