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NYC police taking fresh look at Harvey Weinstein sex assault claims

October 12, 2017 3:40 PM
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NYC police taking fresh look at Harvey Weinstein sex assault claims

New York police issued statement earlier this week regarding 2015 incident

New York City police detectives are taking a fresh look into sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

Police spokesman Peter Donald said Thursday that investigators are reviewing police files to see if any women previously reported being assaulted or harassed by the media mogul.

So far, no past complaints have been found, other than one well-known case that prompted an investigation in 2015.

The department is also encouraging anyone with information to come forward.

"Based on information referenced in published news reports, the NYPD is conducting a review to determine if there are any additional complaints relating to the Harvey Weinstein matter," the department said in a statement Thursday morning.

"No filed complaints have been identified as of this time and, as always, the NYPD encourages anyone who may have information pertaining to this matter to call the CrimeStoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS."

A law enforcement official says detectives also plan to contact women who spoke about their encounters with Weinstein in a New Yorker article this week. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly on an ongoing probe and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Later Tuesday, a New York Times follow-up article featured Hollywood A-listers Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow among additional women who came forward with allegations against Weinstein, which has unleashed a torrent of further claims in other publications and on social media.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute the case at the time. Vance said his office's "best lawyers" examined the evidence before deciding, less than two weeks after the woman first made her allegations, to drop the investigation.

"I, like they, were very disturbed by the contents of the tape. It's obviously sickening," Vance said.

"But at the end of the day we operate in a courtroom of law, not the court of public opinion. And our sex crime prosecutors made a determination that this was not going to be a provable case, and so the decision was made not to go forward."

Police investigated the 2015 allegations as a case of forcible touching, a misdemeanor with a two-year time limit for bringing charges. The statute of limitations has since expired.

Weinstein, who was fired from his firm The Weinstein Co. on Sunday and speaking through a spokesperson, has denied any nonconsensual sexual conduct with any women. He told paparazzi in Los Angeles Wednesday that he's hoping for a second chance and needs to "get help."


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