Words by Nick Slay
Unless you’ve been under a rock (or completely Wi-Fi deprived), the headlines have been swarmed with sexual misconduct allegations lately. In what’s become a daily revelation, Hollywood elites have been rocked by who Time Magazine has called, ” The Silence Breakers.” These ‘Person(s) of the Year 2017’ have brought down some of the most powerful and recognizable names in the entertainment industry, holding then accountable for violating their civil rights. In response to this daily dose of truth, the NYPD has created a new team to investigate these crimes. An extension of the Special Victims Unit, they will carry out a very different purpose than their, ‘Law and Order’ Counterparts. The team has been tasked with handling high-profile cases as they are reported in the media.
In a statement last week Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said:
“Every case that comes up, we take a look at. We have to look and see if it’s in the statute, see when these crimes occurred, talk to our complainants and the prosecutors’ offices around the city where they may have happened and see if we can go forward.” He went on to say, “You know that we are looking into it. That doesn’t mean that we opened an investigation. We see if there is an investigation that’s possible.”
He warned that does not mean every instance will not warrant a full-blown investigation, or will even develop beyond an initial review however, he also stressed every real and credible report is being reviewed.
One such high profile name they are currently looking into is Russell Simmons. The hip-hop mogul and founder of Def Jam Records already stepped down as chairman from his many companies, so the brand wouldn’t be damaged by his accusations in the media. Originally accused of sexual misconduct, four new women have come forward and are charging the hip-hop icon with rape. Although he vehemently denied the accusations, these are the type of cases this special team was designated for.
Becasuse some of the allegations against Simmons involve alleged encounters in New York, they will be looking into them. However it is important to note: officials in both the DA’s office and the NYPD respectively have warned that unless they find evidence of actual rape most other sexual misconduct crimes might be too old to prosecute.