Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney J. Tooson of Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP was recently interviewed by People Magazine to weigh in on the ongoing Asia Argento statutory rape controversy. Despite the apparent evidence of her criminal wrongdoing several years ago, Tooson explained that Argento would likely not face any criminal charges due to California’s statutes of limitations on criminal prosecutions.
The actress and former girlfriend of the late Anthony Bourdain allegedly had sexual relations with a then-17-year-old in 2013 while staying at a hotel in California. She was 37 at the time of the alleged encounter. The sexual encounter would constitute statutory rape, as California’s age of consent is 18. Social media images of the couple, text message conversations, and even a settlement paid to the teenager by the late Bourdain as apparent “hush money” all seem to act as evidence of the crime.
However, as Attorney Tooson told People Magazine, the statute of limitations on criminal prosecutions for most sex crimes in California is either one year or three years. Being that the sexual encounter apparently took place in 2013, the statute would be well expired. He continued to explain that sexual assault and other sex crimes involving violence, coercion, or threats can be charged on extended statutes of limitations, but the Argento case does not seem to fit any such criminal description. The 17-year old teen, who is now a 23-year old man, does not seem to have any intent to press charges and has said no claims that would indicate the sexual encounter was not consensual.
You can learn more about this ongoing story by clicking here and viewing the full People Magazinearticle, which features Attorney Tooson. If you require a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney for a case of your own, do not hesitate to contact Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP as soon as you can. Our award-winning team answers the phone 24/7 for client emergencies, so do not hesitate to dial (800) 462-7160 when you need us.