Ed Westwick Escapes Rape Charges As Prosecutors Cite “Insufficient Evidence”
Despite three women coming forward with accusations of sexual assault against Gossip Girl actor, Ed Westwick – and, according to the memo sent out by the Los Angeles Police Department, several other women making accusations of inappropriate physical contact who were outside the statute of limitations – prosecutors have decided not to move forward to trial. Citing “insufficient evidence,” the LAPD has dropped its case against the 31-year-old British actor.
In case you missed it, in the middle of the #MeToo movement, three women came out publicly to accuse Westwick of sexual assault and/or rape. Kristina Cohen, an aspiring actress, made the first accusation. She was followed by Aurelie Wynn and Rachel Eck. Then, this spring, a stylist named Haley Camille Freedman came out and filed a lawsuit against her former business partners who she says prohibited her from speaking out immediately about her claims that the actor held her hostage and raped her in 2014.
While the fourth woman will still likely see her day in court for her civil suit against her business partners (Ed isn’t actually involved in the case itself), any criminal charges against Ed Westwick will likely not see the light of day. In the LAPD’s memo, they said the witnesses two of the victims provided “were not able to provide information that would enable the prosecution to prove either incident beyond a reasonable doubt,” and mentioned that a third accuser could not be reached by the District Attorney’s office.
After the three women made their statements, Westwick was dropped from his TV show Ordeal By Innocence and his part was recast. Though he’ll likely not be reinstated in that role, it’s unclear how these accusations will affect his career.
Sadly, “insufficient evidence” is a term frequently heard when it comes to sexual assault allegations, which are incredibly hard to prove by legal standards. In fact, according to RAINN, of 1,000 sexual assaults, only 310 are reported to the police. Then, of those reports only 57 will lead to an arrest, only 11 will be referred to prosecutors, and only seven will lead to a felony conviction. Citing “insufficient evidence” could be a reason by two out of three sexual assaults go unreported.