IF ONLY THE BOX OFFICE WERE DOING THIS WELL--The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating nearly two dozen cases of possible sexual misconduct after a wave of complaints about sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood, sources tell NBC News.
And they expect several more.
While some of the investigations involve people who have already faced public accusations, others reportedly focus on people not yet identified in the media. Some under investigations are also reportedly the targets of multiple complaints. Allegations range from misdemeanor sexual battery to rape, the sources said.
Earlier this month, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey launched a special task force to deal with Hollywood sex crime cases. Veteran sex crimes prosecutors assigned to the task force will “work together to ensure a uniformed approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case,” Lacey said in a statement at the time.
By early November, Los Angeles detectives had already begun investigating several complaints, including allegations against Harvey Weinstein of rape and forced oral copulation, and accusations against film director James Toback, whom hundreds of women have accused of sexual assault, harassment or misconduct. Beverly Hills police are investigating similar claims against Weinstein and Toback.
Two women accused “Gossip Girl” actor Ed Westwick of rape, and LAPD is investigating the allegations by actress Kristina Cohen.
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” actor Terry Crews also filed a report with the LAPD after he was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood executive, whom he has since identified as Adam Venit. At the time Venit was head of the film department at the talent agency Williams Morris Endeavor, according to Crews.
Police have not publicly named all of those under investigation, but the probes follow similar allegations against producer and director Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. The district attorney in Nantucket, Mass., has begun an investigation into allegations that Spacey assaulted the teenage son of former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh. The NYPD is also gathering evidence for a possible rape case against Weinstein.
Some cases might face prosecution hurdles because of the statute of limitations, as was the case with Corey Feldman’s accusations of abuse by adults in the industry when he was a child. But California dropped the statute of limitations for a number of sex crimes in 2016 in the wake of sexual assault accusations against Bill Cosby.
Lacey said her office has been in contact with Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police.
(Mary Papenfuss is a Trends Reporter for the Huffington Post where this was first published.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.