Allen denies Dylan's sex abuse claims
WOODY Allen contends that renewed accusations by his adopted daughter that he sexually abused her at age seven are "untrue and disgraceful", a spokesman for the director said on Sunday, a day after her letter detailing the allegations shook up Hollywood.
Ms Dylan Farrow, 28, the daughter of Allen's former girlfriend, actress Mia Farrow, challenged the acclaim the 78-year-old Oscar winner has received in recent years, as she told her side of the decades-old case in an open letter published by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a friend of the Farrows.
The allegations that Allen abused Dylan first surfaced around the time of his 1992 split from Mia. The film-maker wasn't arrested or prosecuted. An investigation was conducted by court-appointed experts who did not find enough evidence to support a case against him.
"Mr Allen has read the article and found it untrue and disgraceful. He will be responding very soon," spokesman Leslee Dart said in an e-mail message.
Legal experts said that if prosecutors felt there was enough evidence from Dylan, it may still be too late under United States law to bring a case against Allen in Connecticut, where the incident is alleged to have occurred at the Farrow home.
To get a jury to convict Allen, a prosecutor would need to show he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt based on evidence, such as a testimony from Dylan. That could present a high standard to overcome, decades after the original allegations.
The passage of time has likely barred the possibility Allen could be prosecuted on sexual-abuse charges, said Professor Todd Fernow, a law professor at the University of Connecticut.
Under Connecticut law, the statute of limitations for all but the most serious sexual crimes lasts for five years from when a police report is filed, which, if applied to Dylan's claim of having been abused in 1992, would have run until 1997, Prof Fernow said.