Looks like the New York district attorney will pursue criminal charges against Harvey Weinstein after all. The New York Daily News reports that the deposed Hollywood mogul and the catalyst for the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements will surrender to prosecutors later today [update: NBC reports tomorrow], following a grand jury probe of a sexual assault from 2004:
Harvey Weinstein is expected to surrender to authorities Friday to face charges related to alleged sexual misconduct in connection to a probe by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and NYPD, the Daily News has confirmed.
The fallen former Hollywood honcho is facing charges in connection to at least one accuser — Lucia Evans — who reported to investigators that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004, sources said.
For those keeping score, that brings criminal charges against Weinstein to, er … one. Prosecutors in Los Angeles and London are investigating other incidents, but thus far no one has filed criminal charges until today. One issue has been whether statutes of limitations bar prosecution, but in this case there are apparently no limits for bringing charges.
It’s not the only case in the queue for DA Cyrus Vance Jr, either, a point of contention for Weinstein victims. Vance has been accused by the police department of deliberately avoiding the prospect of prosecuting Weinstein going back years. Governor Andrew Cuomo demanded an investigation into Vance’s handling of an alleged sexual assault on Ambra Battilana, whose case got dropped even with a clear admission on tape from Weinstein after the NYPD convinced her to wear a wire.
Perhaps the charges being filed today will uncork more prosecutorial courage from the Manhattan DA. Former Weinstein employee Alexandra Canosa has filed a lawsuit alleging sexual assaults by Weinstein in Vance’s jurisdiction, and also within the statute of limitations. And maybe Paz De La Huerta might finally see some justice, too. In the meantime, though, Cuomo should ensure that the Attorney General continues looking into Vance’s past performance to understand why it took this long for the Manhattan DA to finally act.