The Los Angeles Sex Crimes Task Force quietly investigated hundreds of sexual assault claims and only managed to tack on six – yes, six – new charges, all against Harvey Weinstein. Apparently, the now-disgraced movie mogul is the unlucky recipient of all charges in the wake of the now-defunct #MeToo movement. And it couldn’t have happened to a skeevier guy.
Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced recently that, including the new additions, total charges against Weinstein in the district comprise four counts each of forcible rape and forcible oral copulation, plus two of sexual battery by restraint, and of for sexual penetration by use of force from 2004 to 2013, involving five victims. Now L.A. authorities are on to the next step and issuing a request for temporary custody of Weinstein, who is lolling around a prison cell in New York while serving 23 years for his conviction of third-degree rape and a criminal sex act.
Lacey released a statement along with the news of the latest charges:
“I am thankful to the first women who reported these crimes and whose courage have given strength to others to come forward. The willingness of these latest victims to testify against a powerful man gives us the additional evidence we need to build a compelling criminal case.”
But What Happened to Other Bad Boys?
Although of late no one in the media has focused much on Weinstein and the once in-your-face #MeToo movement – COVID, Joe Biden, and Donald Trump are dominating news cycles – the movie producer, as heinous as he appears, hasn’t been the only male in the entertainment industry to be accused of sexual assault. There had been an exhaustive dirty laundry list floating about, with finger-pointing at the likes of comedian Jamie Foxx, actor Morgan Freeman, magician David Copperfield, actor Dustin Hoffman, and other powerful notables – until it stopped abruptly.
Sure, a few slunk off after resigning or being outright fired, such as then-Senator Al Franken (D-MN), NBC newshound Matt Lauer, CBS’ Charlie Rose, and former Representative John Conyers (D-MI), who resigned, then died amid the hoopla.
Yet none are in jail. Weinstein is in the pokey, perhaps never to be let out – but is he going to be the one and only name memorialized in the sexual harassment and assault era of the fleeting #MeToo movement?
Are We Moving On?
Weinstein, who has never admitted to wrongdoing, has repeatedly claimed all his casting-couch exploits were of the consensual variety. And like most social media fads, this one might be going the way of “believe all women” as the fervor has apparently cooled down and been curtailed, replaced since 2017 by whatever catches the eye of the angry masses.
As scapegoats go, Weinstein has the appearance of a sexual predator. He was able to abuse his power and perhaps is paying the price for all transgressors accused during the fanatical #MeToo era. And as the ink dries on extradition papers, the possibility remains that if Weinstein stands trial and is convicted, he can add on an additional 140 years to life in state prison. He may not see daylight ever again outside of the exercise yard. But others will be free to carry on.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.