Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are now investigating allegations of sexual abuse against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, a source familiar with the probe confirmed to ABC News.
The New York Police Department, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, New York Attorney General’s Office, Los Angeles Police Department and U.K. authorities have previously acknowledged investigations of allegations by dozens of women, which Weinstein denies.
Federal prosecutors rarely investigate individual sex assault allegations but, in general, there are federal statutes that cover sex trafficking, child exploitation or use of interstate commerce to promote unlawful activity. If Weinstein was found to have lured women across state lines for an illicit purpose, federal prosecutors could bring a case.
Manhattan federal prosecutors were already investigating Weinstein in connection with potentially questionable financial transactions tied to a charity.
The existence of the federal investigation was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told the Journal that he has met with federal prosecutors in Manhattan “in an attempt to dissuade them from proceeding” and will continue to meet with them in coming weeks, the paper reported. “Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in nonconsensual sexual acts,” Brafman told the Journal.