The federal prosecutors in New York have now begun an investigation into the sexual abuse allegations against ex-Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, two New York police officials said to The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.
As per two people who know of the case, the decision to probe in the matter comes in as a Manhattan grand jury has been asked to go through the charges against Weinstein.
Lawyer Benjamin Brafman, who is representing the disgraced movie mogul, said that he had a meeting with the federal prosecutors in New York to dissuade them from the court proceeding.
The investigation conducted by federal prosecutors will check on whether Weinstein lured any of the accusers to travel over state lines with him, with a purpose of sexually attacking them, said a person having information about the investigation. However, Brafman, on the other hand, said that his client has not done anything wrong and has never engaged in any sexual acts which were non-consensual.
The federal prosecutors have also probed into the possible deception associated with financial transactions made by Weinstein. According to the state case, the witnesses are most probably going to be called, and all the evidence will be shown before the jury. The New York police and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are probing into the sexual abuse accusations claimed by actresses Paz de la Huerta and Lucia Evans against Weinstein.
According to Robert Boyce, the former Chief of Detectives who was looking into the probe before retiring called de la Huerta and Evans’ allegations as ‘credible.’ Even though the local authorities handle individual allegations of sexual abuse, the federal prosecutors, in the recent months, have started to investigate in such cases to include more of possible sex crimes. A spokesperson from the Manhattan district attorney’s office did not comment on the matter.