Feb 04, 2014

    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.