Police in New York City on Friday said an actress who accused Harvey Weinstein of raping her twice in 2010 “is credible,” saying that authorities continue to gather evidence for a possible arrest warrant.
“We have an actual case here,” Robert Boyce, chief of detectives for the New York City Police Department, said at a briefing.
Boyce’s remarks came not long after Paz de la Huerta, the “Boardwalk Empire” actress, told Vanity Fair that Weinstein raped her twice during separate encounters in 2010.
Since the first allegations against Weinstein were published last month, a flood of other women have emerged with accounts against the producer. In the weeks that followed, an avalanche of other reports soon revealed allegations of sexual misconduct against high-profile men including studio chiefs, chefs, actors and journalists.
Boyce’s comments Friday offered a significant signal that Weinstein, whose public downfall helped spur the wave of other accusations, could face criminal charges.
Speaking to Vanity Fair on Wednesday, de la Huerta described being “terrified” of Weinstein, who she said assaulted her and then left her in a state of shock.
“I was very traumatized,” de la Huerta said in the interview. She added: “What happened with Harvey left me scarred for many years.”
Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” other allegations of nonconsensual sex as the list of women publicly accusing him of sexual misconduct has continued to grow. A spokeswoman for Weinstein did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday about de la Huerta’s allegations or Boyce’s comments.
Police in New York, Los Angeles and London have previously said they were investigating claims against Weinstein. Boyce said the New York police were first contacted about de la Huerta’s account Oct. 25, a week before she spoke to the magazine.
“She put forth a credible and detailed narrative to us,” Boyce said. “We then sought to garner corroboration. This happened seven years ago. And we found corroboration along the way.”
When asked what made her account so credible to police, Boyce pointed to the level of detail de la Huerta offered, saying she was able to “articulate each and every movement of the crime, where she was, where they met, where this happened and what he did.”
Five days before the New York police were contacted about de la Huerta, Boyce had said they were already looking into Weinstein. Boyce said in a statement that the department was following up on information regarding Weinstein while also referring calls they received to jurisdictions inside and outside the United States.
Boyce said police in New York are working on the Weinstein case along with prosecutors, collecting evidence and putting out subpoenas as they proceed.
Weinstein remains outside New York state, Boyce noted, adding that this means he poses no threat to anyone in New York City. Weinstein said he sought treatment after his swift, public downfall, and a spokesman has said he will continue doing so until at least later this month.
Boyce said that because the allegations are seven years old, police have to continue gathering evidence about what happened. But he left little doubt about how police view de la Huerta’s allegations against Weinstein.
“If this person were still in New York, and it was recent, we would go right away and make the arrest, no doubt,” Boyce said.