The Beverly Hills Police Department confirmed it is now investigating at least 12 sexual misconduct allegations within Hollywood amid a deepening scandal into sexual assault and abuse across the entertainment industry.
“The Beverly Hills Police Department is working in conjunction with the District Attorney’s Task Force on these cases. We place a high priority on crimes against persons cases,” Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli said in a statement.
However, the department did not disclose names of specifics in order to “maintain the integrity of these investigations.”
Two people previously named as being investigated by the department include disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein and filmmaker James Toback, both of whom have been accused of dozens of sexual assault.
The announcement comes less than a week after the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) revealed they were also investigating nearly two dozen sex crime cases linked to the movie industry, ranging from sexual harassment to felony rape.
The LAPD also refused to confirm the names of any implicated individuals, although actor Ed Westwick and talent agent Adam Venit have previously been revealed to be under investigation.
As noted by the Los Angeles Times, the investigations are placing the police departments in uncharted territory, with flows of high profile cases, many of which date back decades.
From the Times:
Never before has the department received so many sexual assault allegations involving high-profile figures at one time, including many complex cases that are years old with multiple alleged victims, officials say.
The department has re-engineered its detective staff to deal with the influx. The LAPD has established five teams of two detectives to exclusively investigate allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood. The teams include members of the cold-case unit, because those detectives are experts in dealing with old criminal allegations that lack physical evidence.
Earlier this month, the department announced that they were assembling a “task force” to investigate claims of widespread sexual abuse and harassment in Hollywood, which will “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.”
“They know where to go. They know how to jog people’s memories,” task force manager LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes told the Times. “We’ve [gotten] an unprecedented number of calls.”