The latest sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein could result in the first criminal charges against the movie mogul, an NYPD source familiar with the investigation told CNN.
“This is the strongest case we’ve had that fits within the statute of limitations,” the source said, adding some detectives believe they have enough evidence to arrest Weinstein.
At a press conference Friday, NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce described actress Paz de la Huerta’s case as credible because of her “ability to articulate each movement of the crime, where she was, where this happened.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office told CNN they have a sex crimes prosecutor assigned to an “active investigation” into the alleged incidents.
De la Huerta, who has appeared in “A Walk to Remember” and the HBO drama “Boardwalk Empire,” alleges Weinstein raped her in her apartment on two separate occasions in 2010.
In an interview with CNN, de la Huerta, 33, said she called the NYPD rape hotline last week to report the alleged assaults. De la Huerta and her attorney have since been working with detectives from the NYPD’s special victim’s unit and the district attorney’s office, she said.
In October 2010, twelve years after first meeting Weinstein on the set of the film “Cider House Rules,” de la Huerta said she ran into the producer at a club in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood, where both she and Weinstein lived.
She accepted a ride home from Weinstein and when they arrived at her apartment, de la Huerta said he insisted on joining her for a drink.
That’s when the first alleged assault occurred.
“He pulled my dress up and unzipped his pants and raped me,” de la Huerta said.
In an interview with CNN, de la Huerta recalled being in a state of shock, traumatized and in disbelief following the alleged rape.
“He finished what he did, and he told me he’d be calling me,” she said.
Nearly two months later, de la Huerta said Weinstein showed up in the lobby of her apartment one night. She said she reluctantly let him upstairs and he raped her again.
“The first time I was in complete shock and it happened so quickly. The second time, I was terrified of him,” she said. “In a million ways I knew how to say no, I said ‘no’.”
In the past month, more than 60 women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment or assault against Weinstein. New York police told CNN they’ve fielded dozens of calls about Weinstein. Police in London and Los Angeles have also opened investigations
Through a spokeswoman, Weinstein has repeatedly denied “any allegations of non-consensual sex.” Weinstein’s representative did not respond to CNN’s request for comment regarding de La Huerta’s allegations on Friday.
By the end of 2010, de la Huerta said she started drinking heavily and fell into depression. She said she shared what happened with her best friend and her therapist.
De la Huerta said she was hesitant to go public with her story, but hopes her word, along with the evidence she said she’s helped investigators collect, is enough to put Weinstein in jail.
“I think he’s done it to too many women, and he’s gotten away with it for too many years,” she said. “It would be nice to know justice exists.”