The Oscar-winning actor denied claims of sexual assault against him, calling them "extortion attempts"

By Alexia Fernández
July 21, 2021 07:19 PM
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Timothy Hutton
Timothy Hutton
| Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

Timothy Hutton won't face charges in the sexual assault allegation case against him stemming from 1983.

Earlier this month, the British Columbia Crown Counsel and the Vancouver Police Department concluded to "not press charges" against the actor after former model Sera Johnston accused him of raping her in a hotel in 1983, according to a statement by Hutton's attorney Joshua Rosenberg and obtained by PEOPLE. Deadline first reported the story. 

The Vancouver Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. An attorney for Johnston was not immediately available for comment.

"Timothy Hutton has officially been cleared by law enforcement of a criminal complaint filed against him," the attorney's statement read. "The Vancouver Police Department and the Crown Counsel of British Columbia carried out their obligation to thoroughly investigate a very serious claim to determine if it could be prosecuted. The claim was made by Sera Dale Johnston, who accused Mr. Hutton of assaulting her in Canada in 1983."

"The Canadian authorities scrutinized the matter," according to the statement and concluded that they will not press charges against Mr. Hutton. "This decision was reached by the highest levels of law enforcement. Indeed, on July 7, 2021, the lead prosecutor of the investigation informed Mr. Hutton's counsel that the case is now closed."

"The online media outlet BuzzFeed News first published Ms. Johnston's unfounded claim in March 2020, alleging that she had filed a criminal complaint in November 2019. Mr. Hutton immediately went on the record and denied the allegation, stating that it was false, fabricated, and the result of a failed extortion attempt," the statement concluded. 

In 2019, Johnston, now 52, filed a criminal complaint with the Vancouver Police Department against the Oscar winner. In March 2020, she told BuzzFeed News Hutton assaulted her in a hotel room when she was 14 and he was 22.

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After the publication of BuzzFeed's article, Hutton denied the allegations in a statement obtained by PEOPLE at the time, in which he said, "I never assaulted Ms. Johnston."

Hutton also accused BuzzFeed News of publishing a "false story."

At the time, a BuzzFeed spokesperson told PEOPLE the site's reporting was "based on interviews with the alleged victim, the account of a woman who was with her that evening, and five separate people who were told of the assault at the time. BuzzFeed News stands unequivocally by our reporting." 

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Johnston told BuzzFeed News that after finding a lawyer, she entered arbitration with the actor's attorneys, initially agreeing to a $135,000 settlement. She said she backed out when she realized Hutton would be able to deny raping her.

"It was the indignance and the attitude that I was so angry about," Johnston told the outlet. "That tells me that you don't even realize what you've done. You don't care. It doesn't matter."

Hutton won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1981 for Ordinary People. He has since starred in The Glorias with Julianne Moore and Alicia Vikander, Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House and Amazon's Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan.