LAPD Ready to Handle Sexual Assault Allegations from Hollywood entertainment industry

Owing to the numerous sexual assault allegations emanating from the Hollywood entertainment industry, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has restructured its detective staff to handle the complaints. Presently, LAPD has over 28 open investigations touching not only on Hollywood but also media figures. LAPD has sent a further 37 sex crime cases to other law enforcement agencies because the alleged cases occurred in their jurisdictions. The restructuring involved the creation of Hollywood sex crimes task force and five teams each team comprising two detectives whose sole mission is an investigation of allegations of sexual assault in Hollywood.

LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes is in charge of the task force. He is optimistic that the inclusion of the members of the cold case unit in the team tasked with investigating the sexual assault issue is a plus for the team as the members are experts in uncovering evidence related to old criminal allegations. Hayes, who is also in charge of the Robbery-Homicide Division, confirmed that LAPD had received an unusually high number of sexual assault cases.

Some of the high profile figures accused include Harvey Weinstein, Ed Westwick, Miller Muller, and Tyler Grasham. They have been accused of either criminal sexual assault or lewd acts; felonious sexual crime such as rape is considered a higher degree of aggression than lewd acts such as unsolicited touching or masturbation. The statue of limitations provides that lewd acts allegations should be prosecuted within one year making them difficult to deal with as compared to criminal sexual assault whose proceedings can last past one year, as per the statute of limitations.

Although LAPD has many cases to solve, it has an effective strategy in place. According to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, LAPD will take a holistic approach to sexual assault cases involving three steps. Beck affirmed that the department is welcoming to any victims of sexual assault however long ago the alleged acts took place. In pursuit of evidence, LAPD will interview not only the victims but also other people whom the victims shared information regarding the assault. The detectives will then work alongside the sex crime task force based at the Los Angeles County district attorney general’s office to establish whether the alleged assault occurred within the statute of limitations. The detectives will then embark on a mission to unearth evidence in support of the case. In fairness to Hollywood, some allegations have already been closed.



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