Federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into the sexual assault allegation sleveled against Harvey Weinstein.
The disgraced movie mogul’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said Wednesday that he’s met with federal prosecutors in Manhattan “in an attempt to dissuade them from proceeding” with the probe.
“Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in nonconsensual acts,” said Brafman.
The feds had already been investigating possible fraud in Weinstein-arranged financial transactions to an AIDS charity – but expanded the probe to include the sexual assault accusations, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
They’re trying to determine whether Weinstein forced women to travel across state lines to commit sex crimes, the Journal said.
The 66-year-old dad is already under investigation by local authorities in Los Angelesand Manhattan, where a grand jury is currently weighing criminal charges.
He stands accused of sexually assaulting and harassing more than 80 women – including Lucia Evans, who said the once-powerful film producer forced her to perform oral sex on him in his Tribeca office in 2004, and “Boardwalk Empire” actress Paz de la Heurta, who claimed he twice raped her in
Two NYPD officials told the Journal that the NYPD is ready to arrest Weinstein – and is just waiting for the OK by the Manhattan DA’s Office, which came under fire for previously declining to prosecute him for the alleged sexual assault of Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez.
Source: Kaja Whitehouse and Lia Eustachewich
Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal
Photo Credit: WWAY