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Les Moonves attends the 2017 CBS Upfront at The Plaza Hotel. Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Los Angeles prosecutors have declined to pursue sex abuse charges that were filed in February against longtime CBS chief executive and current Chairman Les Moonves citing the expiration of the statute of limitations, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The charges were filed months before the explosive piece was published alleging Moonves of sexually harassing six women between the 1980s and late 2000s. It's been reported that Moonves' behavior was a hidden secret amongst media elites for years, which makes it difficult to believe that executives at CBS and its independent Board of Directors did not know about the situation prior to Ronan Farrow's report in the New Yorker.

The details: The woman, who was not identified, claims she was an acquaintance of Moonves and outlined three instances in which she said Moonves assaulted her in the 1980s. Its unclear if she's tied to any of the women additional cited in Farrow's piece who did not go on the record due to nondisclosure agreements.

Between the lines: Many members of the media were surprised when CBS' independent Board of Directors declined to suspend Moonves after their meeting on — a practice that's common amongst companies when allegations against executives have been surfaced during that #MeToo movement.

  • In an opinion piece in The New York Times published Tuesday, columnist James Stewart says "it’s hard to believe the board would have authorized the suit — whose goal, in part, was to protect Mr. Moonves in the face of a perceived threat from Ms. Redstone — if it had reason to believe that Mr. Moonves was facing serious accusations of misconduct."

The bottom line: If these charges were filed with the police in February, it makes it harder to imagine that CBS' board had no reason to believe Moonves was facing serious allegations of misconduct.

Go deeper

Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.