NYPD chief Robert Boyce announced in a press conference yesterday that their team had gathered ‘a lot of information’ in the rape and sexual abuse case against former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. While Boyce said the final decision to make an arrest was in the hands of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., he seemed confident that the case would make it to the grand jury. The case in its current form made it to the NYPD last October, when Boardwalk Empire actress Paz de la Huerta accused Weinstein of raping her twice in 2010. Another woman, Lucia Evans, also accused him of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in 2004.
It has been reported that detectives have been sent to both Los Angeles and Paris to interview a variety of Weinstein’s accusers. The L.A. County district attorney, according to Variety, is also reviewing several cases against the former producer. Weinstein, who is still ‘receiving treatment’ somewhere, denies all allegations.
Cyrus Vance Jr. has already faced controversy related to Weinstein. He came under scrutiny for not pressing charges against him in 2016 after Ambra Gutierrez, a Weinstein accuser, co-operated with the NYPD to obtain recordings of Weinstein admitting he inappropriately touched her. Vance claimed there was insufficient evidence of criminal intent. It was later revealed that he took campaign contributions from Weinstein’s lawyer.
This would be a significant step forward, not just for the Weinstein accusers but for survivors of sexual assault as a whole. Prosecutions against rapists are shockingly low, and very few women who do come forward receive true justice. Of course, this is Harvey Weinstein, and there’s no way he won’t fight dirty if this goes to trial.
(Header photograph from Getty Images)