Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey has announced the formation of a special task force to examine sexual abuse following the escalating number of recent sexual misconduct reports stemming from the entertainment industry.
Lacey announced the special team on Thursday. On that day alone, news broke of comedian Louis C.K. being accused of alleged sexual misconduct by five women and Mad Men show creator Matthew Weiner was accused of an allegedly sexually explicit comment made to his former personal assistant and staff writer.
In recent weeks accusations have been made against individuals hailing from several levels of the industry, from actors including Kevin Spacey and Ed Westwick to director James Toback and the one that seemingly broke open the floodgates of alleged rampant sexual misconduct in Hollywood, mogul Harvey Weinstein being accused of multiple alleged accounts that spans decades.
“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,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement. “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 Los Angeles Police Department is currently investigating several allegations. Weinstein is under investigation for allegations of rape and forced oral sex from a 2013 incident as well as a lewd act in 2015, The Los Angeles Times reports. Westwick is also being investigated for two women’s allegations of rape from 2014 and Toback is also being investigated for allegations of sexual assault. The Beverly Hills Police Department has also opened investigations revolving around Weinstein and Toback.
All three have publicly denied any wrongdoing.
Some recent allegations have past the statute of limitations for various sex crimes and therefore cannot be investigated, including Corey Feldman’s claims this week of being allegedly molested by John Grissom and another adult while he was a teenager.
Lacey said in a statement that they are coordinating with other police departments and that as of yet, no cases have come through. “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.”