NYPD officials on Thursday dampened expectations that movie producer Harvey Weinstein — accused of rape and sexual harassment — could face criminal charges, saying detectives have so far found no prior related complaints within city jurisdiction, either in police records or from calls to the department’s Crime Stopper hotline.
Speaking to reporters in Queens, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce, reading from a statement, said any alleged criminal conduct by Weinstein phoned into the CrimeStoppers line occurred outside New York City and has been referred to authorities in other states and overseas.
“Those jurisdictions have been spoken [to] by us,” said Boyce, confirming the substance of an earlier report in Newsday.
Boyce didn’t elaborate on which outside jurisdictions had been contacted, but a plethora of news media reports indicate that some of the complaints about Weinstein are connected to rape allegations in Britain.
“This is an ongoing matter, involves potential victims of sexual offenses and, as such, the NYPD must remain cognizant of the appropriate privacy and confidentiality concerns,” Boyce said.
Representatives of Weinstein have consistently denied he ever had nonconsensual sex with anyone. He also has not been charged with any crimes.
After stories broke two weeks ago about allegations of sexual harassment by the Oscar-winning producer, The Weinstein Company, which he co-founded with his brother Bob, fired him. Weinstein’s wife, Georgina Chapman, has said she is leaving him, and the powerful Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revoked his membership.
The Producers Guild of America, which in 2013 recognized the Weinstein brothers with one of the organization’s most prestigious honors, the Milestone Award, has started the process of expelling him.
Boyce indicated that detectives have been conducting interviews, although he wouldn’t elaborate. He apparently was referring to the case of Lucia Evans, a former actress who in a recent New Yorker magazine article alleged that Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2004 in Manhattan when she was a college student.
NYPD officials have said detectives were seeking to interview Evans. Her allegation, if proved to have merit by detectives, could be considered a first-degree forcible criminal sex act.
A change in state law in 2006, which removed the five-year statute of limitations for that degree of sex crime, appears at first glance to cover the Evans allegation.
But some legal experts have said a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court ruling laying out where criminal law can’t be altered may bar such retroactive changes in statute of limitation.