One of the biggest scandals to come out of Hollywood this year has been the barrage of sex crime allegations against film tycoon Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, formerly the head of film studio The Weinstein Company, faces multiple allegations ranging from sexual harassment to sexual assault. After a major exposé in the New Yorker magazine revealed several allegations of nonconsensual sexual activity against him, several dozen women have come forward with accusations against Weinstein, some of which date back at least two decades.
So far, it has proven difficult for authorities to bring criminal charges against the former executive. In one incident that occurred in New York in 2015, a model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez told New York police that Weinstein had groped her. The Manhattan district attorney declined to bring charges against the mogul, and Weinstein reportedly reached a settlement with Gutierrez. Several of the alleged victims have settled with Weinstein or have signed affidavits refuting their accusations.
Despite the lack of criminal charges against him, Weinstein could still face a flood of civil lawsuits. In the state of California, there is a two-year statute of limitations for civil sexual assault. But if an alleged incident is timely and took place in California, the accuser could still pursue civil charges.
Even if he is not prosecuted criminally or civilly, the allegations have already had serious consequences. Weinstein was already fired by his former company after 15 years at its helm. He is at the center of a firestorm of media attention and negative publicity that has made him a household name. It is unlikely that his reputation or career will ever fully recover.
Anyone who is facing allegations of sex crimes can contact a skilled attorney who specializes in sex crimes and criminal defense.