Los Angeles’ chief prosecutor has launched a taskforce to handle “widespread” allegations of sex abuse in the entertainment industry.
The group of “veteran sex crimes prosecutors” has been established to analyse cases handed to them by the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments to see if charges should be brought.
The LAPD and Beverly Hills Police Department are among four forces, including the Metropolitan Police in Britain, investigating claims made by multiple women against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Prosecutors are yet to receive any cases from law enforcement agencies, although prosecutors are “in communication” with LAPD and Beverly Hills officials, LA district attorney Jackie Lacey said.
“In response to the widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, I have established a taskforce of specially trained deputy district attorneys who are ready to evaluate these cases if any are referred to my office for criminal prosecution,” she said in a statement.
“I have assigned the group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to work together to ensure a uniformed approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution.”
In the UK, the Met is investigating 11 separate allegations of sexual abuse by Weinstein from seven different women.
The force is also probing a claim against Hollywood star Kevin Spacey made by a man over an alleged sexual assault in Lambeth, London, in 2008.
The Crown Prosecution Service normally reviews any evidence to deem if an individual has a case to answer.