Actress Amanda Bynes says policeman sexually assaulted her during arrest over marijuana
Associated Press in New York
Investigators say they are looking into allegations made by actress Amanda Bynes that New York Police Department officers sexually assaulted her when she was charged with heaving a marijuana bong out the window of her 36th-floor Manhattan apartment.
The 27-year-old former child star first alleged during her arraignment on Friday that police illegally entered her apartment after being called to her building. But in a Twitter message believed to be from the troubled actress posted Saturday, Bynes alleged that her arresting officer also sexually assaulted her.
"As it would with any such allegation, regardless of its credibility, [the Internal Affairs Bureau] is investigating it," said the police department's chief spokesman, Paul Browne.
The Twitter handle used to make the sexual assault allegations does not appear to be verified by the social network, but a friend of the actress, former Hollywood publicist Jonathan Jaxson, said the tweet was made from Bynes's account.
In court on Friday, the former Hairspray star made no mention of the sexual assault allegations, although she did complain of illegal entry to her apartment. She has been charged with reckless endangerment, attempted tampering with evidence and unlawful possession of marijuana.
A law enforcement official said the building manager was with officers at Bynes' apartment when they arrived on Thursday night. The official said officers were kept waiting approximately five minutes before she opened the door to them. The same official said the building manager told internal affairs investigators nothing untoward happened.
Bynes was released by chief New York County judge Neil Ross on her own recognisance because, Ross said, he did not believe her to be a flight risk. But in releasing her, Ross also issued a stern warning to Bynes, telling her not to get rearrested or miss any court dates. She is due back in court on July 9.
Bynes rose to fame starring in Nickelodeon's All That and has also starred in several films, including Easy A in 2010. But she has been in the news more recently because of several scrapes with the law and erratic public behaviour.
Bynes was arrested on Thursday night after building officials called police to complain she was rolling a joint and smoking marijuana in the lobby. The officers went to her apartment, where they saw heavy smoke and a bong sitting on the kitchen counter. They said she tossed the bong out the window in front of them, prosecutors alleged on Friday.