Officials in California are declining to prosecute CBS boss Les Moonves, despite valid allegations of sexual assault.
An unidentified woman told LAPD that Moonves, the CEO of CBS, sexually assaulted her on three occasions in the 1980’s. Despite this, prosecutors say they cannot do anything because the statute of limitations has expired.
Nbcnews.com reports: “Victim disclosed the second two incidents to a friend approximately a year before making report to law enforcement,” according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney charge evaluation worksheet.
The revelation follows an article published Friday in The New Yorker in which six women, four of whom spoke on the record, alleged sexual harassment or misconduct by Moonves. The allegations date from the 1980s to the 2000s. Four of the women alleged forcible touching or kissing, and two others alleged sexual misconduct or harassment.
It is not known whether the woman who went to police is among those who spoke to the New Yorker.
In response, CBS issued a statement last week saying they were “very mindful of all workplace issues and takes each report of misconduct very seriously” and adding “We do not believe, however, that the picture of our company created in The New Yorker represents a larger organization that does its best to treat its tens of thousands of employees with dignity and respect. We are seeing vigorous discourse in our country about equality, inclusion and safety in the workplace, and CBS is committed to being part of the solution to those important issues.”
On Monday, the CBS board of directors announced that they were in the process of selecting outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations leveled against Moonves.
Moonves has disputed other aspects of the New Yorker report. “I always understood and respected — and abided by the principle — that ‘no’ means ‘no,’ and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone’s career,” he said. A spokesperson for CBS did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News regarding the prosecutors’ decision.
The case was handled by the Los Angeles County DA’S Entertainment Sex Crimes Task Force, which is reviewing about a dozen cases involving Hollywood figures accused of criminal misconduct ranging from inappropriate touching to rape. Prosecutors have declined to bring charges in another dozen cases citing issues including the expiration of the statute of limitations and insufficient evidence to uncooperative victims.
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