LOS ANGELES — Hollywood producer Eric Weinberg was taken into custody by Los Angeles police on Tuesday after prosecutors filed 18 sexual abuse and assault charges against him.
The former "Scrubs" co-executive producer was arrested by sex crimes detectives after the Los Angeles County district attorney filed charges of rape, oral copulation, sexual battery, false imprisonment, assault by means to cause great bodily harm, and six counts of forcible penetration by a foreign object, court records show.
Weinberg was being held in lieu of $5 million bail as of Tuesday evening.
More than half a dozen women have made allegations over the last seven years that Weinberg lured them to his home, often under the guise of a photo shoot, before restraining and sexually assaulting them, police interviews and records obtained by The Times in July showed.
Los Angeles Police Department sex crime investigators previously arrested him on July 14 in connection with multiple sexual assaults, including rape, between 2012 and 2019. LAPD Capt. Kelly Muniz told The Times the department had identified at least eight women Weinberg may have victimized.
The dates corresponding to the new charges were not accessible Tuesday evening.
Micha Star Liberty, a Bay Area civil rights attorney who is representing some of the women accusing Weinberg of abuse, said in a statement that she was "grateful that the District Attorney has acted in furtherance of accountability."
"The significant number of victims and the horrific impact inflicted upon those women will not go unremediated," she said. "We will not rest until there is justice."
According to police and civil court records, Weinberg lured women from coffee bars, supermarkets and a Los Feliz pie shop to his Edgemont Street home.
After one encounter, a woman began using a Facebook group to warn about Weinberg's alleged behavior, according to a declaration filed in family court. At least twice before his arrest on July 14, Weinberg had been investigated by the LAPD on suspicion of sexual assault, booking records and statements from the LAPD show.
During divorce and child custody proceedings in October 2020, testimony from three women who said he sexually assaulted them during photo sessions was presented. His then-wife's lawyer alleged Weinberg also tried to pick up a teenage girl who attended their son's high school and the girl turned out to know his son, according to a 2020 child custody filing in L.A. County family law court.
Weinberg could not be reached by The Times for comment. But his attorney in the child custody case denied any wrongdoing on his part, calling the women's declarations a "blatant smear campaign" with "unconscionable and unsubstantiated allegations" that are designed to portray him in the "most horrendous light."
Detectives have said Weinberg would approach women in their 20s and 30s and set up photo shoots with them. Sometimes he talked about his career in Hollywood.
Weinberg worked on 92 episodes of "Scrubs" from 2001 to 2007 and wrote some of them. He also served as a producer on "Veronica's Closet," "Californication" and "Anger Management," as well as "Men at Work," which starred Danny Masterson, who has also been charged with sexual abuse of multiple women.
The LAPD previously presented two rape investigations against Weinberg to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, which declined to prosecute Weinberg for incidents in April and August 2014, citing a lack of sufficient evidence, according to a declination from the office and statements from the LAPD.
"It wasn't until detectives received a recent late-reported rape that they opened another investigation into Weinberg," LAPD officials said in a statement to The Times. "It was ... this new reported crime that led detectives to the additional victims being identified."
Detectives have since presented several new cases, which are under review with the district attorney's office, authorities said.
"The investigation is in the early stages and not complete; however, eight victims have been identified," police said, adding that investigators are working through tips and anticipate more cases.
According to an LAPD statement, detectives knew a Facebook group was created after the initial cases against Weinberg were rejected, and investigators are looking into social media posts to identify other possible victims.
Documents filed in a family law case between Weinberg and his ex-wife show allegations from three women of sexually violent encounters with him from 2014 to 2019. The dates in these incidents do not correspond with other allegations previously declined by prosecutors. The Times does not identify victims of sexual assault without their consent.
One young woman alleged that she was 22 when she met him at a coffee shop, Republic of Pie, in North Hollywood.
"Eric raped and physically assaulted me in 2014 after convincing me to come to his home for a photo shoot," she said in a 2020 declaration filed in a family law case involving Weinberg. The woman said Weinberg seemed professional, showing her the photographs he had shot of other women and telling her he was a father of three.
On April 29, 2014, they met at his home, she said. She agreed to undress down to her bra and underwear, and Weinberg told the woman she needed to apply lotion "because it was good for the lighting," court records show.
"While Eric was putting lotion on my back‚ he began to take off my underwear.... I never told Eric he could undress me, and I did not consent to him putting his tongue on me," the woman said in a court declaration. "I did not know what was happening and was terrified. I did not know how I was going to get away from him. I completely froze up."
She said he continued to take photographs as he pinned her to the bed and forced her to perform oral sex. He then choked her "and squeezed so hard that I thought I was going to pass out," and then he raped her, she alleged in the declaration. Afterward, she said, he loaded the photos onto a flash drive and gave it to her.
In another sworn declaration, a 31-year-old North Hollywood storyboard artist said she met Weinberg at a Ralphs in February 2019. He asked if she modeled and whether her breasts were natural, she said, then offered to take photographs of her after telling her about his family and his work on "Scrubs."
She said when she came to his home, the photo shoot began in what seemed to be a girl's bedroom. At first, he was professional, but as the naked model and the photographer moved to other locations, things took a sexually violent turn, according to court documents.
Nearly a year later, court records show, a 30-year-old woman met Weinberg on OK Cupid and went for a glass of wine with him before going to his home to listen to music, according to the woman's declaration filed in a family court case involving Weinberg. After kissing in the living room, they went to the bedroom and began to remove their clothes consensually, but then he became aggressive, forcing her to perform sexual acts while he restrained her, the woman said in the declaration.
In the aftermath, she said in court documents, "he spent the hour trying to convince me that I had 'misremembered' ... [but] I knew I did not consent."