A lecture that Danielle Watts, the "Django Unchained" actress,
was expected to give at a California law school has been postponed following
a lewd conduct misdemeanor charge.
Danielle Watts and her boyfriend, celebrity chef Brian Lucas, were apprehended
last month by an LAPD officer, allegedly having sex in Lucas's Mercedes
in Studio City. It seems in this instance the arrest might have been initiated
because Watts accused the officers of racism and she was being apprehended
because of her color, not because of the alleged lewd conduct. Lucas extended
this position on his Facebook page, even suggesting that the police were
quick to apprehend and get the handcuffs out because they thought that
Watts was a prostitute because she was with a white man.
Incidences like this often open up a can of worms when it comes to accusations
against police intentions and actual actions. In this case, the police
officer in question appears to have tried to clear his name of racial
profiling by releasing an audio recording of the event.
The latest on this incident came from the prosecutor's office, which
announced on Tuesday that it believed the couple's public display
crossed the line. At this point the Los Angeles City Attorney has charged
both Watts and Lucas with lewd conduct – a misdemeanor - with an
arraignment scheduled for November 13th. Penalties for this charge could
mean a jail sentence of up to six months and a $1,000 fine, neither of
which look attractive options. Whether it is determined that the apprehension,
arrest and charge only took place because the LAPD officers thought that
Watts was a black prostitute will no doubt be brought up in court. The
prosecution may be in luck in this case, because photos of the incident
in the Mercedes were sent to the LAPD by TMZ.com.
In cases like this that receive great media publicity because of the celebrities
concerned are a challenge for the prosecution as the defendants are both
able to afford the best attorneys and no stone will be left unturned.
If the photos of the alleged act are not clear, or the LAPD try to conceal
words spoken in the audio recording, the attorney representing the couple
will ensure all this is taken into consideration at the trial.
Anyone who has been arrested and charged with alleged lewd conduct or any
crime is entitled to legal representation to ensure that the truth is
revealed and the penalty fits the crime. So often, prosecutors take advantage
if a defendant fails to hire an attorney as he or she thinks that it's
The seriousness of even a criminal charge without conviction can initiate
a reaction from anyone involved with the defendant including suspending
a person from a job until the court appearance. Danielle Watt's lecture
at the California Law School has already been postponed. If convicted,
the two celebrities may face further discrimination and, even worse, the
misdemeanor will remain on their records for life. Overseas countries
don't want people in their countries if they have been convicted of
a criminal offence and even banks may refuse credit too. There is always
good reason to fight a charge like this as the consequences of conviction
can be life altering.