By Rebecca Rosenberg
February 28, 2020
Harvey Weinstein accuser Ambra Gutierrez joined a coalition of other advocates Friday to push for the Adult Survivors Act which would give victims the right to sue beyond the statute of limitations.
“I’m here today because the criminal justice system failed me and countless others,” she said, referring to the Manhattan DA’s decision not to prosecute Weinstein for allegedly groping her in 2015.
She immediately reported the assault to the NYPD who had her place a secretly recorded call to the producer. He admitted touching her and apologized before trying to lure her into his hotel room.
“Instead of supporting me, the DA Cyrus Vance Jr. declined to prosecute the case,” she said at a press conference flanked by other sexual abuse victims. “I and countless other women need the Adult Survivors Act which creates a look-back window to correct the system which favors rich, powerful men over the women they abused.”
Victims of Harvey Weinstein, Robert Hadden and Lyft Drivers join
The Italian model said that although she acted quickly it can take years for victims to come to terms with their abuse.
The Adult Survivors Act would give victims a one-year window to bring old claims that would normally be time-barred.
The proposed legislation is modeled on the Child Victims Act, which passed in 2019, and gave childhood abuse survivors one year to sue even though the statute of limitations had expired.
Gutierrez said it was a “dream” that a Manhattan jury convicted Weinstein earlier this week of one count each of criminal sexual act and rape.
But she’d still like to have a conversation with Vance about her case. “I feel like they’re kind of like forgetting me while they’re celebrating this victory,” she said.
Weinstein’s team paid Gutierrez $1 million in exchange for her silence. She said she has chosen to speak out even though she knows she could be sued for violating their nondisclosure agreement.
Gutierrez is expected to be a ‘prior bad acts’ witness in Weinstein’s Los Angeles sex crimes case.
In addition to Weinstein accusers, victims of disgraced gynecologist Dr. Robert Hadden, who allegedly abused more than 70 patients, also endorsed the proposed legislation at the lower Manhattan press conference.
Evelyn Yang, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, came forward earlier this year and alleged that Hadden had molested her when she was pregnant.
Vance’s office came under fire in 2016 for giving Hadden a no-jail plea deal after he was charged with sexually abusing six patients while a Columbia University doctor. The slap on the wrist enraged many of his victims. Vance recently opened a fresh probe into the perverted doctor, who had to forfeit his medical license.
“For every Weinstein case, for every Epstein case, for every Hadden case where authorities are forced into a public reckoning, there remain many, many more women and survivors who have spoken out and are never really heard,” Yang said.
State Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) sponsored the Adult Survivors Act to the New York legislature in October 2019.