Harvey Weinstein Under Federal Investigation for Sex Crimes: Report
The sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein have gotten the attention of the federal government.
The U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York has begun a criminal probe investigating in part whether the disgraced mogul, 66, enticed or persuaded any women to cross state lines with the intent of committing a sex crime, which is potentially a federal offense, according to The Wall Street Journal, which was first to report the news.
Weinstein’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, confirmed to PEOPLE that he has met with federal prosecutors in the SDNY “in an attempt to dissuade them from proceeding” and will continue to meet with them moving forward.
“Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in nonconsensual sexual acts,” Brafman added.
A representative for the SDNY declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Weinstein is already under investigation by the New York Police Department and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for the allegations of sexual assault made by actresses Lucia Evans and Paz de la Huerta.
According to a report by The Daily Beast in early March, the NYPD was “ready to go with an arrest” against Weinstein for sexual assault, but the Manhattan District Attorney’s office held off. “We are still accumulating evidence,” Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told the New York Daily News at the time.
The producer has been accused of sexual misconduct by over 60 women since The New York Times and The New Yorker documented decades of alleged sexual misconduct and sexual assault involving a number of women in detailed, Pulitzer-prize winning articles in October.
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A spokesperson for Weinstein previously told PEOPLE in a statement that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”
Weinstein is also under investigation for rape by the Los Angeles Police Department, and police in the United Kingdom have widened their investigation into Weinstein to include allegations of sexual assault by seven women.