October 16, 2014 / 12:17 AM / 4 years ago

'7th Heaven' actor faces new sex crime investigation over 1983 incident

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles County Sheriff is investigating actor Stephen Collins on an allegation of indecent exposure or molesting a teenage girl three decades ago, the department said on Wednesday.

Cast member Stephen Collins participates in the panel for "No Ordinary Family" during the Disney, ABC Television Group Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills, California August 1, 2010. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

The alleged incident happened in the summer of 1983 in West Hollywood, Calif., while the victim was 13 years old, the sheriff’s department said, a week after the Los Angeles Police Department said they were reviewing a past case against the “7th Heaven” star.

Collins, 67, is best known for playing a well-meaning pastor and father of seven in the family-friendly TV series “7th Heaven” that aired between 1996 and 2007.

The 1983 accusation was first reported to Los Angeles police on Oct. 9 before being turned over to the sheriff’s department, which has jurisdiction over West Hollywood.

It was unclear if California’s statute of limitations would permit criminal or civil charges from being filed in the case.

Celebrity news outlet TMZ released an audio tape last week that it said revealed Collins admitting during a therapy session that he had exposed himself and molested underage girls.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said it was working with the New York Police Department on the investigation.

Collins has not been charged in any investigation. His attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Last week, Los Angeles police said it was reviewing a 2012 case against Collins.

Collins was dropped from the upcoming Universal Pictures comedy “Ted 2” after the allegations were first publicized last week.

Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy, Bernard Orr

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