CBS honcho Les Moonves escaped sex abuse charges over statute of limitations

Los Angeles prosecutors declined to pursue sexual abuse claims against high-powered CBS CEO Les Moonves because the statute of limitations has expired, according to documents Fox News obtained Tuesday.

An unidentified woman – known as Jane Doe in the documents -- notified police in February regarding three incidents involving Moonves, with one allegedly occurring in 1986 and the other two allegedly occurring on the same day in 1988, NBC News first reported.

Fox News confirmed the report and obtained a charge evaluation worksheet from Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which indicated the decision was made on Feb. 23, 2018.

The anonymous woman’s allegations could have resulted in three possible criminal charges had prosecutors gone forward. The Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division investigated the case and the accuser is considered an “acquaintance” of the CBS executive. The document notes that the alleged victim disclosed one of the incidents to a friend approximately one year before notifying police.  

Moonves was the subject of Ronan Farrow’s latest #MeToo movement bombshell in The New Yorker, which was published last week and featured six woman accusing the longtime network exec of sexual harassment. In addition, more than two dozen company employees, past and present, detailed incidents involving harassment, gender discrimination or retaliation at the network between the 1980s and 2000s.

CBS’ board of directors didn’t take immediate action following a meeting on Monday, instead announcing that outside counsel would conduct an independent investigation. Moonves has admitted to mistakes but denied using his powerful position atop the network for wrongdoing. 

"I recognize that there were times decades ago when I may have made some women uncomfortable by making advances," Moonves said in a statement to The New Yorker. "Those were mistakes, and I regret them immensely. But I always understood and respected -- and abided by the principle -- that 'no' means 'no,' and I have never misused my position to harm or hinder anyone's career."

Farrow’s report detailed an assortment of claims against Moonves, but it was unclear if the unidentified woman who went to police also had spoken to The New Yorker.

In Farrow's report, actress Illeana Douglas accused Moonves of luring her to a hotel to talk business only to make sexual advances and forcibly kiss on her. Dinah Kirgo shared a similar story in which Moonves feigned interest in a business meeting only to pursue a dinner with her alone. Kirgo stated she believed rejecting the CBS CEO’s advances hurt her career.

Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.