Prosecutors Say Ex-LAPD Captain Aided in Cover-Up of Les Moonves Sexual Assault Claims

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Prosecutors Say LAPD Captain Warned CBS About Les Moonves Sexual Assault Claims

Prosecutors Say LAPD Captain Warned CBS About Les Moonves Sexual Assault Claims

Nov 3, 2022

A report released by the New York Attorney General’s Office Wednesday detailed what the Los Angeles Times referred to as an “elaborate cover-up at the highest levels of CBS in late 2017 and 2018” involving a retired LAPD command officer who conspired to conceal allegations of sexual misconduct against then-network chief Les Moonves.

Prosecutors Say Ex-LAPD Captain Aided in Cover-Up of Les Moonves Sexual Assault Claim

According to an NBC 4 Los Angeles report, court documents “show the captain shared confidential information about the accuser and progress of the investigation with CBS.

Following the announcement of a $30.5 million settlement with the New York attorney general, CBS, and Moonves, the LAPD confirmed Wednesday afternoon that it had launched an internal investigation into the retired command officer and the allegations outlined within the agreement.

The Los Angeles Times said that the report released by the New York attorney general came approximately five years after the LAPD captain “tipped off CBS executives” to the fact that a woman appeared at the department’s Hollywood station alleging that Moonves had sexually assaulted her in the 1980s.

“Somebody walked in the station about a couple hours ago and made allegations against your boss regarding a sexual assault,” the police captain said in a November 10, 2017, voicemail message left for a CBS executive, the New York A.G. report conformed. “It’s confidential, as you know, but call me.”

Over the next few months, the LAPD captain – whose role was not previously revealed – secretly provided Moonves and CBS executives with status updates on the LAPD’s investigation as well as personal details about the alleged accuser,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

The report further indicated that the LAPD captain provided CBS with a copy of the accuser’s report and network executives began “investigating the victim’s personal circumstances and that of her family.

Additional points confirmed through the New York attorney general’s report include:

  • The retired LAPD police captain had been part of Moonves’ security detail for the Grammy Awards for several years.
  • CBS executives were assured by the captain that the LAPD had implemented controls to prevent news of the police report from leaking to the press.
  • The woman’s complaint against Moonves came around the time of the #MeToo Movement reaching worldwide attention, but more than eight months went by before the public became aware of the allegations.

“CBS and its senior leadership knew about multiple allegations of sexual assault made against Mr. Moonves and intentionally concealed those allegations from regulators, shareholders, and the public for months,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.

As a publicly traded company, CBS failed its most basic duty to be honest and transparent with the public and investors,” James added. “After trying to bury the truth to protect their fortunes, today CBS and Leslie Moonves are paying millions of dollars for their wrongdoing. Today’s action should send a strong message to companies across New York that profiting off injustice will not be tolerated and those who violate the law will be held accountable.”

Concealing the allegations may have been advantageous to both CBS and Moonves.

“Prosecutors in the insider trading investigation alleged that the network and Moonves benefitted by hiding negative information from investors and the public,” NBC 4 reported.

A significant amount of the $30.5 million settlement will reportedly go to CBS shareholders.

Ranking LAPD Officer Identified Amid Internal Investigation Into Moonves Cover-Up

The Los Angeles Times reported that LAPD Chief Michael Moore confirmed to the newspaper that the department “only recently” became aware of the allegations involving a ranking officer.

“What is most appalling is the alleged breach of trust of a victim of sexual assault, who is among the most vulnerable, by a member of the LAPD,” Moore said to the Los Angeles Times. “This erodes the public trust and is not reflective of our values as an organization.”

The LAPD later identified the officer as Commander Cory Palka, who served as captain of the Hollywood station in 2017 and 2018 and has since retired, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Additional Findings from the New York Attorney General’s Report

Additional findings confirmed through the New York attorney general’s report include:

  • CBS’ former chief communications officer Gil Schwartz, who has since died, sold more than 160,000 shares of CBS in June 2018 as the company tried to contain the sexual misconduct allegations against Moonves.
  • Schwartz sold the stock with CBS’ approval, netting more than $8.8 million, despite knowing that the allegations would likely be made public at some point.
  • Moonves allegedly misled investors about the scope of the sexual harassment uncovered at CBS – information that was damaging to CBS’ stock.
  • Moonves will be barred from serving as an executive or corporate officer at a public company that does business in New York for five years, unless prior written approval from James’ office is obtained.

Through a spokesperson, Moonves declined to comment on the $30.5 million settlement, according to the Los Angeles Times. The former CBS executive has denied the multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

How to File a California Sexual Assault Claim

Sexual assault survivors have the right to file civil claims against predators in an effort to recover financial compensation for various damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Emotional or psychological harm
  • Lost wages/diminished earning capacity
  • Punitive damages
  • Hospital/medical/therapy expense (past and future)

A California sexual assault civil lawsuit is completely separate from any criminal proceedings that may be brought against a sex offender. Moreover, the outcome of a criminal case against a sexual predator does not have any impact on a civil litigation.

To file your sexual assault civil claim, contact Dordulian Law Group’s (DLG) experienced team of attorneys today at 818-322-4056. We offer free, confidential, and no obligation consultations on your own terms.

About DLG’s Los Angeles Sexual Assault Lawyers

DLG is a results-oriented sexual assault firm based in Glendale, California, that fights for justice on behalf of survivors. Led by Sam Dordulian, a former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy D.A. for Los Angeles County, DLG’s sex crimes attorneys have secured multi-million dollar settlements on behalf of survivors of sexual assault and abuse:

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