The Los Angeles Police Department is assembling a task force to investigate claims of widespread sexual abuse and harassment in Hollywood, the District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Thursday.
“In response to the widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, I have established a task force of specially trained deputy district attorneys who are ready to evaluate these cases if any are referred to my office for criminal prosecution,” Lacey said in a statement.
“I have assigned the group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to work together to ensure a uniformed approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution,” Lacey continued.
The creation of a task force comes amidst the opening of criminal investigations into a number of prominent industry figures, including movie producer Harvey Weinstein, director James Toback, and actor Ed Westwick.
On Wednesday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office said it would seek an indictment against Weinstein on charges of rape as soon as next week.
Meanwhile, scores of figures across the industry have claimed to victims of sexual abuse or harassment from high profile actors, including Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman, and Ben Affleck.
On Thursday, the LAPD confirmed that it had dropped an investigation into allegations of widespread pedophilia in Hollywood made by actor Corey Feldman only a day after it was reported to be looking into the case.
“In the case of Corey Feldman, unfortunately, according to California law the alleged occurrence is out of statute, and Robbery-Homicide detectives have no other avenues to pursue this case,” said LAPD spokesman Officer Sal Ramirez. “However, the LAPD applauds Mr. Feldman for coming forward, as an out-of-statute assault report could potentially bolster any current and forthcoming case as it creates a pattern of behavior.”