The New York Police Department (NYPD) says it has started a new investigation into sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein after a week of dramatic accusations of sexual harassment by the moviemaker.
The NYPD had pursued a case against Weinstein in 2015, including wiring one of his alleged victims to record his confession of abuse, but that case was dropped by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who is now under fire for his actions.
But after The New Yorker and The New York Times reported that Weinstein had committed sex abuse and possibly rape over many decades, the NYPD called for all victims to come forward so a broader case could be pursued.
“It was brought to our attention that there was an alleged victim who spoke in The New Yorker,” Lieutenant John Grimpel told Newsweek. “When that was brought to our attention, we started the investigation. If anyone is a victim of sexual assault, come forward to the NYPD and it will be investigated by the Special Victims Unit.”
Until now, “the only complaint report that came forward was the girl from 2015,” he added. “We are looking into allegations from a 2004 incident.”
Grimpel is apparently referring to the horrifying tale of Lucia Evans, who told The New Yorker that Weinstein forced her into oral sex against her will inside his offices in the company he then ran, Miramax. The New Yorker also made public an audio recording that featured Weinstein pressuring a model to come into his room against her will.
The reexamination of the case against Weinstein comes after criticism of Vance for not following through on the initial NYPD investigation in 2015, despite audio evidence at the time.
The criticism grew so heated in the aftermath of the Times and New Yorker reports that the Manhattan DA’s office had to issue a statement saying that it had taken the case “seriously from the outset” but “after analyzing the available evidence, including multiple interviews with both parties, a criminal charge (was) not supported.”
Yet an NYPD official told The New Yorker, “We had the evidence. It’s a case that made me angrier than I thought possible, and I have been on the force a long time.” Comments like these led the legal website Above the Law to slam Vance as “Manhattan’s Dumb Hamlet.”
Taken together, the Times and New Yorker stories—plus the many additional actresses, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Cara Delevingne, who have come forward since the accounts’ publication—mark a downfall for the movie mogul so colossal that recovery appears to be impossible. In the wake of the stories, half of the Weinstein Company board resigned and the remaining members ended up firing the co-founder on Sunday.
Weinstein has reportedly left for Europe to undergo “sex addition” therapy in hopes of rehabilitating his career.
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