US and UK police investigate more sexual assault claims against Harvey Weinstein

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Associated Press

Police detectives in New York City and London are taking a fresh look into sexual assault allegations against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.

New York Police Department spokesman Peter Donald said Thursday (Friday morning NZT) that investigators are trying to determine whether there were any additional complaints involving Weinstein, now embroiled in a sex abuse scandal.

That includes reviewing police files to see if any women previously reported being assaulted or harassed by him.

So far, no filed complaints have been found, he said, other than one well-known case that prompted an investigation in 2015, but authorities are encouraging anyone with information on Weinstein to contact the department.

Also Thursday, British media reported London police are investigating an allegation of sexual assault involving Weinstein.

London's Metropolitan police force said it had received an allegation of sexual assault from the Merseyside force in northwest England.

Merseyside police says the allegation was made Wednesday and concerns "an alleged sexual assault in the London area in the 1980s."

More than a dozen women - including actresses Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow - told The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine for recent stories that Weinstein had sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them. Weinstein was fired Sunday by The Weinstein Co., a studio he co-founded with his brother.

Detectives in the NYPD's special victims unit were instructed to identify and speak with any potential victims, including the women who spoke about their encounters with Weinstein in a recent New Yorker article, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

In The New Yorker expose, a former actress, Lucia Evans, said Weinstein forced her to perform oral sex in 2004 when she was a college student.

At least one other unnamed woman said she was raped by Weinstein, but the article did not disclose when it where it happened.

A third woman, actress Asia Argento, told the magazine that Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 1997 at a hotel in France.

Under New York law, making someone engage in oral sex by physical force or the threat of it is a first-degree criminal sexual act.

There's no legal time limit for bringing charges.

Weinstein, through a spokeswoman, has denied any nonconsensual sexual conduct with any women.

The film mogul reappeared briefly on Wednesday outside a Los Angeles home, telling the paparazzi he's "not doing OK," but he's hoping for a "second chance," according to video posted by celebrity website TMZ.

He also told the photographers he needs to "get help" and "we all make mistakes."


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