It has been just over five months since the New York Times published its bombshell expose about Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein's decades-long history of assaulting women, and finally, at least one police department is telling reporters that it's ready to move forward with an arrest - that is, assuming the local district attorney signs off.
“We’re ready to go with an arrest,” the official said yesterday afternoon.
However, the NYPD is awaiting the go-ahead from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who famously quashed a case into Weinstein back in 2015 that NYPD sources say would've led to an arrest, while also accepting a large campaign contribution from Weinstein's lawyer.
While the NYPD has pursued at least five separate cases against Weinstein, an incident involving Lucia Evans, who was a college student interested in an acting career when she met Weinstein at the Cipriani Upstairs nightspot in the summer of 2004, will most likely lead to an arrest. She thought Weinstein intended to offer her professional guidance; instead, he forced her to perform oral sex.
Fearing arrest, Weinstein is said to be avoiding New York.
The SVU detectives had a few final details to chase down in recent days, but now they are ready to make the collar in at least one case. They only need Vance to give the go-ahead.
According to several news accounts, Vance’s office has been looking into Weinstein’s finances, as regard to non-disclosure agreements with other accusers as well as in general. A number of people in his office had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. The DA also hopes to subpoena Weinstein’s driver, though prosecutors were said at one point to be having difficulty locating him.
Meanwhile, the New York State Attorney General’s office has filed a civil suit against Weinstein’s company, charging it with “vicious and exploitative mistreatment” of employees, including “sexual harassment, intimidation, and other misconduct.”
At the same time, the district attorney out in Los Angeles is reportedly examining a total of five cases of sexual assault by Weinstein that the police have referred to it for possible prosecution.
But none of that precludes Vance from just going ahead and authorizing Weinstein's arrest in the Evans case. Weinstein is said to have stayed away from recent negotiations regarding the sale of his business because he feared he might be arrested if he came to New York.
Despite a number of recusals in his office pertaining to Weinstein, Vance is said to be ready to approve an arrest after prosecutors met with Evans recently to hear her accounting of events.
It's also possible that the LAPD, which also has five solid leads, according to the Daily Beast, might move to arrest Weinstein.