FBI Opens Probe Into Weinstein Amid Mounting Allegations
The FBI opened a probe into Harvey Weinstein amid mounting allegations of sexual assault over the span of three decades.
According to the Daily Mail, the move was ordered by the Department of Justice, which is run by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was appointed by President Donald Trump.
The move came amid rumors that Weinstein was planning to travel to Europe to dodge prosecution in a move similar to film director Roman Polanski who escaped to Europe after being convicted of statutory rape and continues to evade U.S. officials to this day.
Weinstein did not go to Europe and instead traveled to Arizona for sex addiction treatment at The Meadows center.
Meanwhile, the New York Police Department started an investigation of its own. Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce ordered the Special Victims Division to “identify and locate and interview any potential victims” of Weinstein.
“He’s a super predator. His conduct shows he’s been at this a long time, and he’s a professional at it,” a police source told New York Post.
“He’s been at this so long, there’s no way there are not other victims out there,” the source added. “Imagine how many promises he’s made to these young women who were trying to make it into the industry.”
Weinstein settled lawsuits with at least eight victims over the years, the Times reported. Thirteen women’s experiences were detailed in The New Yorker.
Weinstein avoided prosecution in New York in 2015 for sexually assaulting model Asia Argento. District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. on Wednesday defended the decision to drop the lawsuit saying that “our sex-crimes prosecutors made the determination that this was not going to be a provable case.”
Sources in the police department were outraged by Vance’s call at the time, but say that now “the feeling is, this time they wouldn’t be so quick not to charge.”
Weinstein is a powerful Hollywood mogul with the power to make or break careers. He was fired from the company he co-founded after The New York Times story was published.
Weinstein is a major donor to Democratic causes and backed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race. Clinton denounced Weinstein on Wednesday and said that she would donate his contributions to charity.
The mogul traveled the globe extensively to promote his films and accusations of sexual assault have surfaced in France and the United Kingdom. The FBI has field offices in both countries.
The Daily Mail tallied up 30 women who have accused Weinstein thus far.
The mogul hired top criminal defense lawyers Blair Berk and David Chesnoff.