Crime

Man Who Busted Trump's Hollywood Star Lightly Sentenced

| by Denise Recalde

A millionaire who vandalized Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame received a sentence of probation of three years for the act. 

James Otis, heir to the Otis elevator fortune, pleaded no contest to the crime on Feb. 21 in Los Angeles Superior Court, his lawyer Mieke ter Poorten said, according to a CBS/Associated Press report.

Using a pickax and sledgehammer, Otis smashed the star some seven days before Trump won the presidency on Nov. 4.

The court ordered Otis to pay $4,400 for the damage and legal fees. He will also have to perform 20 days of community labor. 

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Otis, dressed as a construction worker, defaced the star on Oct. 26. It had been awarded to Trump for the real estate mogul's work on "The Apprentice." 

The incident was captured on camera. 

Otis said his original intention was to remove the whole star from the pavement, auction it off and give the proceeds to the women who claim they were sexually assaulted by Trump, who has long rejected the allegations. 

In the end, he was only able to remove the brass medallion of the star.  

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Los Angeles police arrested Otis the followed day and subsequently released him on $20,000 bond. 

Otis told the LA Times: "I just sort of had enough with Mr. Trump's aggressive language toward women and his behavior, his sexual violence with women and against women. I've had personally in my own family four people who have been assaulted or have had sexual violence happen to them. It all became very personal."

He later stated: “I destroyed the star, but considering the violence that has been committed [by Trump] -- I’m a little sad that I had to [damage the star]. I’m usually always nonviolent. It seems in this one instance I broke some stone and marble to make a point.”

According to The Sun, he had spent some time planning the act so that it could be done "safely, carefully and successfully."

Otis called it a "form of free expression" and stated he would happily pay damages. 

However, soon after a hearing last November, he expressed regret for the action.

"Upon reflection after my arrest, I had said I was proud and felt very good about destroying Mr. Trump's star. However, now I realize I was wrong, that I shouldn't have done it," he commented.

"[While] reflecting, I realized nonviolence is the way to protest Mr. Trump. By destroying that star, it was wrong and I apologize for that, and I hope no one else will affect and hurt the Hollywood Walk of Fame stars.”

Donald Trump's star has been the target of multiple vandals due to his controversial stances on policies ranging from immigration to climate change.

Sources:  CBS/AP, The Sun, LA Times / Photo credit: Jordan Riefe/The Hollywood Reporter

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