We’ve been hearing about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior for months but so far he hasn’t been charged with a crime, much less convicted. Today, NBC News reports the LAPD has forwarded three cases involving Weinstein to the Los Angeles District Attorney:
Los Angeles police have forwarded three cases in which women accuse movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sex crimes to prosecutors, a police spokesperson said Thursday.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office must now review the cases and decide whether Weinstein will face criminal charges. The DA’s office, which formed a special task force last year to deal with high-profile sex-crime allegations, is already evaluating two cases referred by Beverly Hills police late last year…
Los Angeles police have taken dozens of reports from women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Authorities in New York and London are also investigating complaints against the former Hollywood powerhouse.
So that makes five cases in all, three today and two submitted last December by Beverly Hills PD. There is apparently no clear timeline for when the DA will make a decision on any of the cases. Until last year, California had a 10-year statute of limitations on sexual assault cases. As Deadline explains, that limit remains in place:
Though there is no longer a statute of limitations on such sex crimes in California that only applies to acts that occurred after the beginning of 2017. Otherwise, the previous 10-year status period still is in effect, as is likely the reality in these three cases.
While the LAPD would not comment on the submissions today, a law enforcement source told Deadline that the department is “very confident these are solid and actionable cases.”
So while it’s too late to bring charges for some of the high profile accusations made by Rose McGowan and others, the five cases currently before the DA presumably occurred within the deadline. Weinstein has continually denied any non-consensual sex despite over 80 women coming forward to accuse him. His spokesman did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment on the current referrals.
There’s one more related story today that seems worth mentioning. Jill Messick, who represented Rose McGowan at the time McGowan says she was raped by Weinstein, committed suicide yesterday. Her family submitted a piece to the Hollywood Reporter which blames a long battle with depression but also recent statements by Rose McGowan:
In January 1997, Jill was an entry-level manager at Addis Wechsler. One of her first clients was Rose McGowan, and one of Jill’s first duties was to set up a breakfast meeting with Harvey Weinstein during the Sundance Film Festival. Following the meeting, Rose told Jill what had happened — that she made the decision to remove her clothes and get in the hot tub with him — a mistake which Rose immediately regretted. Rose never once used the word rape in that conversation. Despite this, Jill recognized that Harvey had done something untoward to Rose, if not illegal. She immediately went to her bosses, the partners of Addis Wechsler, to recount Rose’s story and to insist that they immediately address the situation. They told Jill that they would handle the situation. The ensuing arrangements between Rose and Harvey were then negotiated, completely without Jill’s knowledge. At that time, all Jill knew was that the matter was settled and that Rose continued making films with the Weinsteins. She never knew any details until recently, when Rose elected to make them public…
Rose’s most recent round of press to promote her book has included new stories involving Jill. The constant press attention Rose has garnered in print and on national TV led to Harvey Weinstein releasing two documents. One of these was an email that Jill wrote to him months prior to the first New York Times piece coming out, and at his request. In this email, Jill offered the truth based on what she remembers Rose telling her about the Sundance account. In the face of Rose’s continued and embellished accusations last week, Harvey took it upon himself to release the email without her consent…
Seeing her name in headlines again and again, as part of one person’s attempt to gain more attention for her personal cause, along with Harvey’s desperate attempt to vindicate himself, was devastating for her. It broke Jill, who was just starting to get her life back on track. What makes Rose’s inaccurate accusations and insinuations against Jill ironic was that she was the first person who stood up on Rose’s behalf, and alerted her bosses to the horrific experience which Rose suffered. Twenty years ago, as a very junior person in a management company hierarchy, Jill exhibited her integrity in doing the right thing — she raised the red flag with the heads of her firm. In the face of inappropriate behavior, Jill handled the situation appropriately.
There is a downside to a scorched earth charge, like the one Rose McGowan has been leading. It doesn’t leave much room for nuance. So far it doesn’t appear that McGowan has commented on Messick’s death or the critical statement by her family.