Terry Crews' sexual assault case against Hollywood agent Adam Venit has been rejected by prosecutors, who say the alleged incident falls outside of the statute of limitations.
Crews filed a police report against Venit on Nov. 8, shortly after opening up about his story in the initial wave of the #MeToo movement. Crews alleged that Venit, who is a powerful agent in the industry and a partner at William Morris Endeavors, groped him without consent at a party in February of 2016. Police investigated the complaint, and forwarded it to the L.A. County District Attorney's office on Feb. 6, according to a report by Variety.
However, the D.A.'s office didn't categorize the case as a felony, and they referred it to the office of Mike Feuer, L.A. City Attorney. Feuer's office could have pursued a misdemeanor prosecution against Venit, but a spokesman in his office said that it fell outside of the one-year statute of limitations on misdemeanor cases. The office officially declined to prosecute Venit as of Feb. 20.
Crews is still pursuing a civil case against Venit, accusing the rep of sexual assault. The separate lawsuit contains details of the assault, claiming that Venit groped Crews' genitals, "squeezing so hard that he leapt back in pain." It goes on to say that Venit stuck "his tongue in and out of his mouth provocatively." It also says that Crews alerted Adam Sandler, one of Venit's clients who was present at the party. "Adam, come get your boy!" Crews allegedly yelled. "He's grabbing my nuts!"
Crews reportedly told his own agent at WME about the incident, and escalated it to the chairman, Ari Emanuel. He expressed fear that Venit would retaliate at him for reporting the incident, but Emanuel reportedly said that Venit “did not have that level of power despite his title as head of the Motion Picture Department.”
Crews has been on a crusade to deconstruct these power dynamics in Hollywood and in other industries. He has become a central figure in the #MeToo movement on Twitter, and patiently explains to his detractors why he believes it's important to prosecute people like Venit. The day after the case was denied, he spoke to reporters at Esquire's 2018 Mavericks of Hollywood party.
“This is the deal. What’s so strange and crazy is that I’m still paying them. I go to work, and I still have to send a check to my molester,” he said of WME. “This is Hollywood, it is insane. I look at my bank statement, and I’m like, ‘Damn, this is the most wrong thing of all time.’ I’m calling it, I’m going to play this whole thing out,” the actor added. “If I don’t get justice, nobody can.”