Sean Combs Won’t Face Charges For 2016 L.A. Beating Of Cassie, DA Says, Despite Video Evidence; “Cover-Up” Could Warrant Possible Probe

Sean “Puffy” Combs won’t be prosecuted for beating up Casandra Ventura despite hotel surveillance footage showing the 2016 assault, says the Los Angeles District Attorney.

“We are aware of the video that has been circulating online allegedly depicting Sean Combs assaulting a young woman in Los Angeles” George Gascón said late Friday, a few hours after CNN’s May 17 exclusive of the horrific hallway assault at Century City’s now-closed InterContinental Hotel dropped.

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“We find the images extremely disturbing and difficult to watch,” the DA, who is up for reelection, said of the attack on the singer by her then-boyfriend Combs. “If the conduct depicted occurred in 2016, unfortunately we would be unable to charge as the conduct would have occurred beyond the timeline where a crime of assault can be prosecuted.”

The statute of limitations for domestic violence in California is five years. The statute of limitations for simple and felony assault is one year and three years, respectively, in the Golden State.

While holding to the letter of the law, the response by the media-sensitive D.A.’s office drops the ball on the spirit of the law. However, a prominent law-enforcement source tells Deadline that the much-accused Combs may himself have provided a potential pathway for investigation.

“Reports that Combs paid $50,000 to the hotel for the footage of the incident soon after it occurred could, I say could, present the possibility of intent to cover up a crime,” the source said. “On the surface, that could warrant opening an investigation.”

Still, the law enforcement official stressed that no formal LAPD probe has begun. The department is collecting basic information of the physical assault shown in the graphic 8-year-old video, he added.

In her quickly settled lawsuit of November 2023, Ventura detailed a March 2016 attack on her by Combs at the upscale hotel. The complaint from attorney Doug Wigdor also noted that she had been informed the Combs “paid the InterContinental Century City $50,000 for the hallway security footage from that evening.”

Soon after Combs’ lawyer Ben Brafman characterized Ventura’s action as a shakedown, full of “offensive and outrageous allegations,” his client settled the matter with his ex. Although the details were kept under wraps, as these things are, Deadline was informed the final number of the settlement was in the eight-figure range.

Since Cassie filed her suit on November 16, 2023, half a dozen other suits have emerged accusing Combs of sexual assault and other misconduct. At least one of those filings alleges sex trafficking of a minor, and another is from a producer on Combs’ most recent album.

Combs has denied all claims. However, on March 25 this year, the FBI and Homeland Security agents raided his LA and Miami homes. A federal spokesperson called the raids part of an “ongoing investigation.”

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