The week after Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley’s office confirmed to L.A. Weekly that it is formally reviewing sex-toy rape allegations against a top city official, it remained unknown at press time whether charges would be filed against Andrew Adelman, the Building and Safety Department general manager.
The Los Angeles Police Department completed a two-month investigation and took its case to Cooley on September 17, two days after Adelman was pressured to resign.
But in such “he said, she said” rape cases lacking eyewitnesses, charges sometimes are not filed, even if the allegations are horrific. Adelman is accused of lurid acts of rape against an unconscious woman after they met for the first time at a July 11 pub crawl organized by a staffer to a Los Angeles City Council member.
According to the search warrant affidavit obtained by journalist Eric Longabardi, which described the alleged attack at Adelman’s apartment, the victim says she blacked out while drinking downtown with friends, then awoke mid-rape next to a nude, aroused Adelman wielding invasive sex toys. After the story broke on the news Web site theenterprisereport.com, Adelman hired celebrity attorney Mark Geragos.
Acquaintance-rape cases are difficult to prove to a jury, say police. Often, says Detective Supervisor Jesse Alvarado, with LAPD’s special assault section, “Without corroborating evidence, it is very difficult to prosecute. … How do you decide which one of the individuals is telling the truth?”
A decision by Cooley “won’t take terribly long,” predicts LAPD Deputy Chief Charlie Beck. “Within a week or so. It is typical in these kinds of cases that the District Attorney will want to interview the witness.”
Numerous lawsuits filed against Adelman by staff members over the past decade portrayed him as abusive, intimidating and fostering a hostile environment. A damaging 2006 audit warned that building inspectors were not being supervised, big developers were getting preferential treatment and data were being distorted to make the department look good.
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