Sean Penn Pleads No Contest to Vandalism Charges
Thu, 13 May 2010 11:57:23
Sean Penn Videos
Two-time Best Actor Oscar winner Sean Penn pleaded no contest to vandalism on Wednesday, ending a case where the notoriously hot-headed Penn was videotaped kicking a celebrity photographer. Penn was not present in court and entered the plea through his attorney. He was sentenced to three years of informal probation and ordered to perform 300 hours of community service, said city attorney's spokesman Frank Mateljan. So he got off easy, really. But then again, if a paparazzi photog was flashing a bulb in your face all the time, you might become a little irritable.
Mateljan says those hours can be completed through Penn's earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti. He co-founded the Jenkins-Penn Haiti Relief Organization, which provides medical care, water filters and food, as well as a health clinic for mothers and victims of an escalating sexual assault problem in the country. Penn was also ordered to undergo 36 hours of anger management counseling and stay 100 yards away from the photographer. As if he really wants to get anywhere near this shutterbug.
The 49-year-old Penn was charged in February with misdemeanor battery and vandalism for the October skirmish and faced up to 18 months in jail if convicted. Yikes.
"Prolonging this matter in the court system would not have been in Mr. Penn's best interests and would have distracted from his charitable commitments, specifically his work in Haiti," Penn's attorney Richard Hirsch said. "Accordingly he has decided to accept the terms and move on." Upon completion of the terms of his sentence, Penn will be allowed to reduce the charge to disturbing the peace. The photog, named Jordan Dawes, is suing Penn in civil court.
Do you think Penn's "punishment" fits the crime, since he was already doing aid work for and in Haiti?