Director James Toback Will Not Be Charged for Sex Crimes in Los Angeles, Says D.A.'s Office
James Toback is no longer under investigation for sex crimes in Los Angeles.
The director, 73, will not be prosecuted for the multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against him, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office confirmed.
The D.A.’s Hollywood sex crimes task force investigated five allegations against Toback, but found that they all fell outside the statute of limitations, according to several charge evaluation worksheets provided to PEOPLE by the D.A.’s office. No other investigations are currently open against Toback in Los Angeles at this time.
One accuser told police that after she and Toback agreed to have dinner one night in 1978, he “pushed her against a wall and asked her to have sex with him.” The accuser refused and Toback drove her home, according to the charge evaluation, which states that during the drive, the “victim witnessed [Toback] expose himself in the vehicle.” The D.A.’s evaluation states that Toback potentially violated penal codes relating to battery and lewd conduct, but that these incidents are outside the one-year statute of limitations.
Another unnamed accuser told police that in 1980, Toback spent “in excess of an hour trying to verbally persuade her to engage in sexual intercourse with him.” During this time, the accuser told police that Toback touched her “chest and buttocks and attempted to kiss her mouth.” The charge evaluation states that Toback “potentially violated” penal codes relating to battery, but that the D.A.’s office will not be prosecuting the case as the statute of limitations has expired.
A third alleged victim reported to authorities that Toback instructed her to masturbate during what she had understood to be a movie screening at a private residence. The accuser said she “complied out of fear” while Toback sat by the door to the room. The charge evaluation states that Toback eventually knelt down in front of the woman and, while still clothed, “rubbed his penis on her bare leg until he ejaculated.” Again, the D.A’s report noted that Toback “potentially” committed battery, but that prosecution was declined due to the statute of limitations being expired.
A fourth alleged victim claimed that she was alone in a room with Toback in 1993 when, after she refused his sexual advances, he knelt down in front of her and “rubbed his groin on her leg until he ejaculated,” according to the D.A.’s report. She claimed he did this “four times over several hours,” and that “the touching was never skin to skin.” She also told police she was “in fear” of Toback. Once again, the report states that Toback “potentially” committed battery, but that the statute of limitations has expired.
The fifth accuser, who claimed that Toback “rubbed his groin on her leg until he ejaculated,” did not appear for a scheduled interview with police, according to a report. Investigators made multiple attempts to contact her, the evaluation states, but were unable to make contact. While it appears that the allegations are outside the statute of limitations, the investigation could reopen if she makes herself available in the future.
The Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director, who has been accused of acting inappropriately – including masturbating in front of women, touching them and propositioning them during business meetings – by over 300 women, according to the Los Angeles Times, vehemently defended himself against the allegations in an interview with Rolling Stone last October.
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Many of the women, including Rachel McAdams and Selma Blair, claim Toback — known for writing films like 1991’s Bugsy, 1987’sThe Pickup Artist and 2014’s The Gambler — approached them about a possible movie role before eventually turning the conversation towards sex. The author of the Rolling Stone article, Hillel Aron, noted that his own wife had an encounter with the director when she was in high school. “Toback vaguely offered her a film role and then proceeded to talk to her about masturbation and pubic hair,” Aron claimed in the story, adding, “Fortunately, she managed to extricate herself.”
“Lemme be really clear about this,” Toback told Rolling Stone over the phone. “I don’t want to get a pat on the back, but I’ve struggled seriously to make movies with very little money, that I write, that I direct, that mean my life to me. The idea that I would offer a part to anyone for any other reason than that he or she was gonna be the best of anyone I could find is so disgusting to me.”
Toback also denied ever offering a movie role to a woman in return for sexual favors. “Anything like that is nauseating and disgusting,” he said, adding, “It’s pathetic lies. It’s just too f—— embarrassing and idiotic. And if I were you, I wouldn’t go repeating it, unless you really knew it were true, because it isn’t. So that’s all I have to say. This is not worth wasting another second on.”