NEW YORK – New York police have a credible rape allegation against fallen Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and are gathering evidence for a possible arrest warrant, a senior officer confirmed Friday (Nov 3).
Boardwalk Empire actress Paz de la Huerta accused Weinstein of raping her twice at her New York apartment in late 2010. Her claims were published in Vanity Fair magazine on Thursday (Nov 2). Police said they became aware of the victim on Oct 25.
“She put forth a credible and detailed narrative to us. We then sought to garner corroboration… and we found it, corroboration,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told a news conference.
“If this person was still in New York and it was recent, we would go right away and make the arrest, no doubt. But we’re talking about a seven-year-old case and we have to move forward in gathering evidence first,” said Boyce.
“We have an actual case here,” he added. “Mr Weinstein is out of state. We would need an arrest warrant to arrest him. So right now we’re gathering our evidence. We continue to do so. Everyday.”
A warrant requires a court order, Boyce said.
“So we want to get our evidence first before we go out and do something like that.”
De la Huerta’s allegations are at least the third Weinstein case to have been investigated by New York police in recent years. Boyce did not rule out others.
“I’m not going to close the door and say others won’t come forward but this is what we have right now. This is what we’re moving forward with,” he said.
The Manhattan district attorney has also assigned a senior sex crimes prosecutor to the case, working in collaboration with New York police, his office confirmed.
Around 100 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual misconduct since a New York Times expose was published in early October. The accusations range from harassment to rape. Weinstein denies any non-consensual relations.
The NYPD previously confirmed one active Weinstein investigation regarding actress Lucia Evans, who accused the disgraced mogul of forcing her into oral sex in 2004.
Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez also went to police, accusing Weinstein of groping and harassing her in 2015, but the district attorney ultimately decided that evidence was insufficient to prosecute. – AFP