NYPD Taking Fresh Look At Weinstein Sex Assault Allegations

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — NYPD detectives are taking a fresh look into sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, while allegations are also extending beyond the U.S.

As CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported, an avalanche of accusations is piling up against Weinstein, with more than 30 women now alleging sexual abuse and even rape.

Among those speaking out is former aspiring actress Tomi Ann Roberts, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported.

“He was in a bathtub. I ended up leaving that situation,” she said.

Roberts said in the 1980s, Weinstein tried to force her to take her top off during a meeting.

“I couldn’t imagine who to call,” she said. “Whose phone number do you dial at the Weinstein Company to say this happened to me, and who on the other end would believe me?”

“He needs to get locked up. That’s the main thing,” said actress Kelly MacDonald.

“Many people were aware of his reputation as a sexual predator,” said Kim Masters, editor-at-large at the Hollywood Reporter.

“I found out about Harvey about a year ago and I’m ashamed I didn’t say anything right then,” said Jane Fonda.

On Thursday, NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald said that investigators are reviewing police files to see if any women previously reported being assaulted or harassed by the media mogul.

“Based on information referenced in published news reports the NYPD is conducting a review to determine if there are any additional complaints relating to the Harvey Weinstein matter,” Donald said in a statement. “No filed complaints have been identified as of this time and as always, the NYPD encourages anyone with any information to contact CrimeStoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.”

Sources say police will present any evidence to the district attorney’s office, 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reported.

A law enforcement official says detectives also plan to contact women who spoke about their encounters with Weinstein in a New Yorker article this week.

So far, no past complaints have been found, other than one well-known case that prompted an investigation in 2015, when an Italian model said the studio executive grabbed her breasts and groped her.

Detectives set up a sting where they recorded a conversation between model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez and Weinstein, where he tried to persuade her to come into his hotel room.

The recording was obtained by The New Yorker and posted on the magazine’s website Tuesday:

Gutierrez: Why yesterday you touch my breast?

Weinstein: Oh, please, I’m sorry. Just come on in, I’m used to that. Come on. Please.

Gutierrez: You’re used to that?

Weinstein: Yes, come in.

Gutierrez: No, but I’m not used to that.

Weinstein: I won’t do it again, come on, sit here.

But Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute the case.

“Our sex crimes prosecutors made the determination that this was not going to be a provable case and so the decision was made not to go forward,” Vance said Wednesday.

Vance said his office’s “best lawyers” examined the evidence before deciding, less than two weeks after the woman first made her allegations, to drop the investigation.

“I understand that folks are outraged by his behavior, I understand that there are many other allegations that have surfaced but in our case we really did what I think the law obligated us to do,” he said.

Vance also said Wednesday that the decision wasn’t influenced by campaign contributions from Weinstein’s attorney.

“No contribution ever in my seven years as district attorney has ever had any impacts on my decision making in a case,” Vance said. “Contributions are unfortunately a part of running for office. They are legal and I have a very sound vetting system. So the answer is ‘I don’t regret as a DA having to raise money in order to campaign for office.'”

The controversy has sparked a conversation about intimidation and harassment by people in power. On Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at Rutgers University about ending sexual assault on college campuses, and applauded the brave women who are speaking out against Weinstein.

“Putting their own careers at risk to save other women — this disgusting behavior at least for Harvey Weinstein has been brought to an abrupt and justifiable end,” Biden said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio also spoke out about the allegations Thursday.

“It’s deeply troubling what Harvey Weinstein did and it’s unacceptable and I hope his rapid decline and fall is a message to anyone who would engage in harassment that that’s what’s going to happen to them next. There’s no place for that in our society anymore,” de Blasio said.

Weinstein has been a contributor to Democratic campaigns. De Blasio said he received $500 from Weinstein back in 2001 and that account has since been closed.

Also Thursday, British media reported London police are investigating an allegation of sexual assault involving Weinstein. London’s Metropolitan police force said it had received an allegation of sexual assault from the Merseyside force in northwest England.

Merseyside police says the allegation was made Wednesday and concerns “an alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s.”

More than a dozen women, including actresses Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow, have told The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine that Weinstein had sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them.

A former Weinstein personal assistant, who asked his identity and voice be obscured, said Weinstein went to great lengths to keep his personal dalliances a secret, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported.

“We would be told at 2, ‘so and so is coming to the room, make yourself scarce’ and we wouldn’t even be there,” the former assistance said. “We would be gone and then he would call us an hour or two later and say, ‘OK, come back up.’ That was it.”

The assistant said he was “sick and disgusted” and said the staff had been “victimized in our own right.”

“It seems like the company was structured from the top to bottom to service whatever he was doing,” he said.

Weinstein, through a spokeswoman, has denied any non-consensual sexual conduct with any women.

He was fired Sunday by The Weinstein Co., a studio he co-founded with his brother. The company issued a statement saying it is “shocked and dismayed” by the recently emerging allegations.

Meanwhile, the movie mogul finally surfaced, telling reporters as he got into his car that his entire world is falling apart.

“I gotta get help, guys,” he said. “We all makes mistakes — second chance, I hope.”

Weinstein also checked into a sex addiction rehab facility in Arizona Thursday.

The scandal is also raising new questions about the prevalence of alleged sex abuse in Hollywood.

Actor Ben Affleck came out swinging against Weinstein on Tuesday, tweeting: “I am saddened and angry that a man who I worked with used his power to intimidate, sexually harass and manipulate women over decades.”

But less than 24 hours later, Affleck faced a firestorm of criticism over his own alleged sexual abuse of MTV host Hilary Burton in 2003.

Affleck tweeted: “I acted inappropriately toward Ms. Burton and I sincerely apologize.”

Weinstein, who has long been a top donor to the Democratic party, also now faces the ire of some of the party’s most notable candidates, including Hillary Clinton.

“This was a different side of a person who I and many others had known in the past,” she said.

Many top Democrats, including Clinton and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, are vowing to return money donated directly by Weinstein or give it to charity.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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