Early in the evening of March 27, 2015, a young Italian model named Ambra Battilana walked into the NYPD’s 9th Precinct house, a few blocks from Tompkins Square Park. She was so physically and emotionally distressed that the desk sergeant almost called an ambulance. When two patrol officers transported her to the 1st Precinct house, in Tribeca, she cried throughout the short drive. There, at 8:20 p.m., she made a formal complaint that she had been sexually assaulted by Harvey Weinstein.
By nine o’clock, the commander of the NYPD’s Special Victims Division, Michael Osgood, had been notified. Osgood understood immediately that the case had to be handled with extreme care. He and Lieutenant Austin Morange, head of the SVD’s Manhattan unit, mapped out a plan to keep the case under wraps, to prevent Weinstein from calling in his army of high-powered lawyers and publicists. Knowledge of the investigation, they decided, would be confined to a small circle of detectives and supervisors. Their reports, contrary to standard procedure, wouldn’t be loaded on the NYPD’s system, and Osgood orally informed his boss, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce, rather than putting his briefing in writing.