An influential Hollywood personality and longtime member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been given an eight-year prison sentence for child molestation by a Los Angeles judge.
In handcuffs and a blue and white prisoner’s uniform, 70-year-old Jeffery Cooper, a former outstanding architect and acoustic engineer, arrived the Van Nuys Courthouse in Van Nuys, California to learn his destiny.
Before Judge Alan Schneider imposed the sentence, members of his family who were present at the hearing and his brother read a statement to the court.
He must also register as a sex offender, according to authorities.
Cooper was convicted in May by a jury of three felony charges of child abuse for assaulting a youngster in his house between 2005 and 2007. Prosecutors estimate that she was between the ages of 12 and 13 at the time. She gave testimony throughout the trial and is now an adult.
Maximum incarceration for him would have been 12 years.
The eight-year sentence was accepted by both victims, according to David Ring, the victims’ Los Angeles-based attorney.
He said on Tuesday to Fox News Digital, “Cooper was asking for probation.” “They are happy he received the eight years. To get there, one had to travel a very long way.”
In a separate civil complaint, filed on Monday, Ring is representing the victims and their families. The lawsuit claims Cooper exploited his clout and fame to invite the victims and their families to stay at his lavish Calabasas house.
He is accused of keeping them sequestered in his enormous basement, which included a sound room filled with musical instruments. He allegedly groomed and molested both of them after inviting them to perform music.
According to the lawsuit, Calabasas Shul, the religious organization he created, allegedly contributed to its cover-up by remaining silent when the girls complained about Cooper’s behavior. One woman claimed that if she accused him of assaulting her, he would threaten to hurt her family.
“Even though he received less than the 12-year statutory maximum, eight years tend to be the higher end of the range for child molestation under California law,” claimed Neama Rahmani, a former federal prosecutor and LA-based lawyer who is unrelated to the case. “The judge presumably found Cooper’s history of sexual assault to be an aggravating factor in the jury’s deadlock for one victim, and Cooper speaking in his own defense most likely didn’t help either. Defendants who lie under oath are not popular with judges.”
On numerous more accusations involving the second, even younger kid, the Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon’s office was unable to persuade jurors to achieve a majority judgment, leading to a mistrial on those charges.
Children are the most defenseless people in our community, and Mr. Cooper misused his position of trust by doing terrible things to defenseless victims, according to a statement from Gascon. “I hope the victims find peace and healing now that this criminal procedure is through, but I know that nothing will remove the agony that they have experienced.”
The defense team for Cooper chose not to comment on the sentence.
According to the civil complaint, Cooper created home studios for renowned Hollywood filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg.
An inquiry for comments was not immediately answered by the Academy.
According to a source familiar with the incident, “This is presently going through the standards of conduct procedure” for Fox News Digital. The board will meet to make a decision as soon as it convenes in early August.