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L.A. District Attorney launches sexual abuse task force for entertainment industry

Variety

Los Angeles District Attorney Sharon Lacey has created a task force of veteran prosecutors to deal with sexual abuse crimes in the entertainment industry.

Lacey made the announcement Thursday, adding that her office has not yet received any cases from law enforcement for criminal filing.

Show business has been rocked over the past month by multiple accusations of sexual abuse against high-profile figures including Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner, Kevin Spacey, James Toback, and more. The first accusations emerged on Oct. 5 against Weinstein.

“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,” Lacey said. “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 office has handled prosecution and extradition of filmmaker Roman Polanski, who pleaded guilty in 1977 to statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl, for four decades. Thursday’s announcement said the office is in touch with local law enforcement agencies.

“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.”

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