Beverly Hills police say they are investigating 12 sexual assault claims in the entertainment industry
It turns out that the sexual assault charges against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein may be just the tip of the iceberg in Hollywood. The Beverly Hills police say they are currently investigating twelve cases of sexual assault against people in the entertainment industry.
Beverly Hills police declined to provide specifics of the allegations, saying the agency wanted to "maintain the integrity of these investigations."
"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.
The Los Angeles Police Department now has 28 open investigations related to Hollywood and media figures, including Weinstein, actor Ed Westwick, writer Murray Miller and agent Tyler Grasham. The department has also taken 37 other sex crimes reports that it has sent to other law enforcement agencies, believing the alleged crimes occurred in those jurisdictions.
Police in New York and London as well as the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department also have open criminal cases related to the Hollywood sex scandal.
These allegations are not "groping," or "inappropriate touching." These are cases of assault, which normally carry jail time if the offender is convicted.
With 38 other sexual criminal acts being investigated, the possibility exists that a significant number of movers and shakers in Hollywood – agents, directors, producers, and actors – could find themselves in serious legal trouble.
For a hundred years, Hollywood big-shots have been engaged in this sort of behavior. Is it more prevalent in entertainment than it is in other industries? It's not for nothing that the Hollywood "casting couch" has achieved mythic status in the industry. Demanding sexual favors in exchange for advancing a career is hardly unknown. But many men in power seem to believe that no woman can refuse their advances.
When police are finished with their investigations, that very well might change.