Task force created to handle growing sexual assault allegations

Photo courtesy of Instagram user Samaelfane.

Angelina Jolie, who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, spoke about the importance of treating women with respect at the U.N. Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference in Vancouver on Nov. 15.


The Los Angeles Police Department has created a task force to evaluate cases concerning accusations of abuse in Hollywood.


“In response to the widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, I have established a task force of specially trained deputy district attorneys who are ready to evaluate these cases if any are referred to my office for criminal prosecution,” Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement Nov. 2.


“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.”


Los Angeles detectives have already begun investigating several accusations. Most notable accusations include more than 40 women’s allegations against Harvey Weinstein of rape and sexual harassment, 15 accusations against Kevin Spacey for sexual harassment and assault and hundreds of women’s accusations against film director James Toback for sexual assault, harassment and misconduct.


Every day brings a new batch of sexual misconduct allegations in the entertainment industry.


Other big names being accused of sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry include Ed Westwick, Louis C.K. Adam Venit, Andrew Kreisberg, Andy Dick, Ben Affleck, Bob Weinstein, Brett Ratner, Charlie Sheen, Chris Savino, David Guillod, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Goddard, George Takei, Jeffrey Tambor, Jeremy Piven, Matthew Weiner, Oliver Stone, Peter Aalbaeck Jensen, R. Kelly, Richard Drewfuss, Roman Polanski, Roy Price, Tom Sizemore, Mark Schwahn and XXXTentacion.


The growing number of accusations are mostly met with disgust.


“When the first few stories started coming out, it was shocking, but with the numbers still growing for each person accused, it’s horrifying,” said senior business administration major Sarah Wieczorek. “As a woman going into the workplace in the coming year, I have to be hyperaware I don’t get taken advantage of, and it’s sad because I don’t think men have the same issue.”


While the overall reaction from the allegations have been with swift action from fans and employers alike, some Hollywood alleged abusers may be in the clear.


After the number of accusations of Kevin Spacey came to the surface, Netflix terminated the “House of Cards” actor. However, according to The Blast, Spacey claims Netflix cannot legally fire him because his contract didn’t contain a morality clause. Similarly, Forbes reported that Harvey Weinstein may only need to pay the fines and costs the company incurs due to his behavior, no actual termination.


This news makes people wonder why they should even come forward if no justice can really be served.


“If someone sexually assaulted another person, they should be punished,” said junior nursing major Lindsay Murray. “That starts with being fired from their job.”


Some cases can’t be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations, including Corey Feldman’s accusations of abuse by adults in the industry when he was a child.


The new LAPD task force will definitely be busy as more accusations come to light.


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