Los Angeles - The Los Angeles County district attorney on Thursday announced the establishment of a task force to investigate allegations of sexual assault in the entertainment industry.
It is a sign of the scope of the problem, which has been spotlighted by the flood of allegations of sexual harassment and abuse by powerful men in Hollywood that have emerged in recent weeks.
"In response to the widespread allegations of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry, I have established a task force of specially trained deputy district attorneys who are ready to evaluate these cases," Jackie Lacey said.
"I have assigned the group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to work together to ensure a uniformed approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution," Lacey said.
The New York Times and The New Yorker published articles on allegations that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein had a decades-long history of sexual harassment and rape, prompting scores more women to speak out about his behaviour and that of others in the entertainment industry.
Allegations have since emerged against "House of Cards" star Kevin Spacey, director James Toback, comedian Louis C.K. and others.