HOLLYWOOD, CA (FOX 11) - Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced on Thursday her office is forming a task force to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct in Hollywood.
“In response to the widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, I have established a task force of specially trained deputy district attorney who are ready to evaluate these cases if any are referred to my office for criminal prosecution,” Lacey said. “I have assigned the group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to work together to ensure a uniformed approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution.”
Criminal defense attorney Lou Shapiro told FOX 11 he agrees with the decision.
“It’s a must move, in my opinion, by Lacey because so many complaints are coming forward there has to be an efficient and uniform way of dealing with them,” Shapiro said. “Lacey is thinking, well it’s better to have 5 seasoned prosecutors that are handling all these cases all over the county than having say, 20 or 30 each working on that individualized case.”
Shapiro said the prosecutors will have several obstacles.
“There’s a big difference between somebody that’s guilty, and whether it can be proven if they’re guilty or not,” Shapiro said. “That is going to be a big obstacle that the DAs office has on a lot of these cases because most of the complaints coming through are several years old, where there’s no forensic evidence, to back them up or corroborate them.”
That’s why Shapiro says, Lacey will hand pick her best employees.
“We’re gonna be seeing prosecutors that have tried many sex crimes, even without forensic evidence, and have had success in gaining convictions based on that,” he said.
Lacey said that her office has not received any cases from law enforcement, but that they are in touch with LAPD and Beverly Hills PD.