AMPAS member Jeffrey Cooper found guilty of child molestation
Jeffrey Cooper, a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), was convicted on three counts of child molestation by a jury on Friday, reported LA Times. Cooper was previously arrested four years ago over eight counts, concerning two kids. However, the Los Angeles Superior Court's Judge Alan Schneider has now declared five counts brought by the second accuser a "mistrial."
Cooper was arrested in 2018 over multiple alleged counts of child molestation. The first victim claimed the lewd acts took place between 2006-2007, while the second claimed they occurred between 2012-2016. The victims are now 16 and 28 years old, as per LA Times. Meanwhile, a sentencing hearing is set for June 1. Cooper, who pleaded not guilty, could face 12 years of imprisonment.
Shortly after his 2018 arrest, Cooper was freed on a $5 million bond, reduced from $9 million, reported LA Times. However, he is now being held without bail after the judge reportedly called him a flight risk. But his lawyer Alan Jackson called the allegations part of "a money play" and said Cooper was a target due to his "wealth, status, and resources."
One of the accusers testified on the first day of trial saying that she considered Cooper as a "friend" and a musical "mentor". The victim would go to his home music studio, which was in his basement, where he would teach her to play the guitar. However, Cooper allegedly molested her on a couch in his music studio when she was 12 or 13.
Cooper is a top Hollywood designer of movie theaters, sound studios, and home studios for directors like Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and Martin Scorsese. He became an AMPAS member in 2002. At the start of Cooper's trial, the Academy said it was made aware of his alleged "abhorrent behavior," adding it will address the issue as per its "Standards of Conduct."