One obscure legality surrounding sex crimes won’t be applicable to Weinstein’s case, as the former movie producer will have to face his allegations head-on in court should charges proceed that far.
Although one incident occurred in 2004 when New York had a five-year statute of limitations on felony sex crimes, it turns out that the alleged attack is covered by a 2006 law that removed said restriction. Law officials have confirmed that it allows charges to be brought up at any time, according to The New York Post.
The NYPD is investigating one woman’s claim that she was sexually abused by Weinstein back in 2004. Lucia Evans filed a complaint with officers late last week.
The incident supposedly took place in 2004, when New York was operating under a five-year statute of limitations on felony sex crimes, essentially making any potential case moot. However, the same attack is covered by a 2006 law that removed the restriction and allows charges to be brought forth at any time.
Evans first revealed her story to the New Yorker, which ran a previous story regarding Weinstein’s actions, as even more women come forth to bring their own allegations against the former movie producer.
She told the publication that she was still a college student with ambitions to become an actress when Weinstein introduced himself at the Cipriani Upstairs Club in Soho. She later went to meet the movie producer to discuss various career opportunities.
“At that point, after that, is when he assaulted me,” said Evans. “I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t’….He’s a big guy. He overpowered me.”
Last week, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce ordered investigators in the Special Victims Division to locate other “potential victims” of Weinstein’s, as well as interview them for more details. At least five women in New York and London are saying that they were raped or assaulted by Weinstein, according to the LA Times.
Another woman who claimed to have been sexually assaulted by the movie producer is a model, Ambra Battilana-Gutierrez, who reported the incident to the police back in March 2015. Despite the police having secretly recorded him apologizing to the model and admitting that he touched her breasts, Weinstein was able to avoid prosecution.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance declined to file charges in the case. In a statement made last week, he said the acts were “sickening” but lamented that it was not a provable case in a court of law.
The affair amounted to one of the biggest threats Weinstein faced to his public image, one that required an extensive team of top-shelf defense attorneys and publicists to undermine the Gutierrez’s credibility and sufficiently weaken the case, according to The New York Times.
Weinstein could face older charges thanks to a little-known law. Do you think the allegations against him are true?
Undermining the victim’s credibility is a public relations tactic that the movie producer has used extensively in the past.
Margaret Sullivan of The Washington Post wrote that it’s likely most people fear their reputation being tarnished by Weinstein’s publicity efforts should they come forward about any allegations. “Just last week, as a blockbuster New York Times story on Weinstein moved toward publication, negative information about one of Weinstein’s accusers was offered to a Washington Post reporter. The timing could, of course, be coincidental, but seems suspicious and tracks with Weinstein’s well-known practices,” wrote Sullivan.
One publicist for Weinstein has repeatedly stated that, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.” It’s a claim that many women across the country are disagreeing with.
Displaying much-needed courage, Weinstein’s victims are now making sure the sexual predator’s misdeeds are known. Hopefully, he will be held accountable by the justice system.