Police in Santa Monica, Calif., have presented a sex-crimes case against Sylvester Stallone to a special prosecution task force that is now reviewing it, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office confirmed Thursday.
"A case was presented (Wednesday) by the Santa Monica Police Department regarding Sylvester Stallone. It is under review. Our office is not commenting further," said Greg Risling, spokesman for District Attorney Jackie Lacey, in an email to USA TODAY.
No details of the alleged crime were provided by authorities. However, in November a woman filed a police report there, accusing Stallone of sexual assault in the 1990s, Lt. Saul Rodriguez, spokesman for the Santa Monica police, told USA TODAY.
If that is the alleged case under review, it is not clear how it could be prosecuted now under the statute of limitations in effect in California at the time. Risling declined to clarify.
Stallone's attorney, Martin Singer, said Stallone "categorically denied" the allegations.
"The statute of limitations bars the claim under California law," Singer said in an email to USA TODAY. "More importantly the claims are totally fabricated."
Singer also strongly denied the rape allegations against his client at the time they were first reported in December. The attorney conceded that Stallone had a consensual relationship with the accuser in the 1980s.
"Stallone had a relationship with her for less than a week while shooting a movie in Israel in 1987; he was single at the time and she was of legal age," he explained.
Singer claimed the accuser went to police after she was unable to persuade an unnamed media outlet to publish a story about her allegations.
"There would be no reason to file such a report since she knew that it was too old a claim. However, she wanted a story published. Notwithstanding that, she filed a police report, (and) the media outlet refused to publish the story. "
Last year, in the wake of the deluge of sex-crime allegations made against scores of powerful Hollywood figures, the Los Angeles district attorney established a task force of specially trained prosecutors to review such cases brought to them by police agencies within the county.
Fallen mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of various sex crimes by nearly 90 women, is facing rape and sex-crimes charges in New York and remains under investigation by police and prosecutors in Los Angeles, too. But he has yet to be charged with a crime there.
In other cases against Hollywood figures, the DA in Los Angeles has thus far declined to file criminal charges. For instance, the task force passed on charging writer/director James Toback in any of five cases presented to them by the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills police departments at least in part because the allegations were too old to prosecute.
There is no longer a statute of limitations on felony cases of rape, forced sodomy and child molestation committed in California after Jan. 1, 2017. Crimes committed before then must be prosecuted within 10 years of the date of the crime. However, if new DNA evidence emerges, the case may be prosecuted after the 10-year mark.
Stallone has been enjoying a career boost lately, in part due to the box-office success of his "Expendables" franchise, as well as "Creed," the critically-acclaimed and popular 2015 sequel to "Rocky" that netted him a supporting-actor Oscar nomination (his first since the original film). He will reprise his role as Rocky Balboa in “Creed 2,” November 21.
And last month, he was front and center in the Oval Office when President Trump signed a posthumous pardon for former world champion boxer Jack Johnson, at the urging of Stallone and others.
But the Santa Monica allegation is the second time Stallone has been accused of a sexual assault.
In 2016, The Daily Mail and The Baltimore Post-Examiner published reports alleging Stallone was accused of sexual assault by a 16-year-old girl while he was filming a movie in Las Vegas in 1986. The outlets reported the teen said Stallone, then 40, forced her into a threesome with his bodyguard. The stories resurfaced in November 2017 after those outlets got access to police case files.
“This is a ridiculous, categorically false story," said Michelle Bega, spokeswoman for Stallone, said after the stories were published.