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Man Charged With Vandalizing Former President Trump's Star On Walk Of Fame To Be Arraigned Monday

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A man accused of vandalizing Donald Trump's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame twice within a 28-day span in October 2016 is set to be arraigned Monday on felony vandalism charges.

James Lambert Otis, 57, previously pleaded no contest to felony vandalism for using a pickaxe and a sledgehammer to damage Trump's star.

Trump star vandalized
(credit: Pete Demetriou/CBS)

Otis was sentenced in January 2017 to three years probation, 20 days of community service and agreed to pay $4,400 for the damage.

In the latest case filed this week, he is charged with two counts of vandalism with $400 or more in damage or destruction of property involving October arrests.

Los Angeles police allege that Otis used a pickaxe on Oct. 2 to "destroy" the former president's star -- with damage estimated at more than $3,000 by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce -- and that he surrendered Oct. 5 at the LAPD's Hollywood Station after detectives contacted his publicity team.

He was freed on bond, subsequently arrested again Oct. 30 and released on bond, jail records show.

Otis told reporters after a hearing last November, "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 went on to say that while "reflecting, I realized non-violence 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."

At about 5:45 a.m. Oct. 26 while dressed in construction-worker garb, Otis used a sledgehammer and pick ax to hack away Trump's name and the logo indicating the star had been awarded in the category of television -- for Trump's work on "The Apprentice."

Otis previously said he originally intended to "remove" the entire star from the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard, auction it off in New York and give the money to women who allege they were groped or sexually assaulted by Trump, who has denied accusations of mistreating women.

But Otis said he was unable to accomplish the feat, so he removed a brass medallion from the star after using a sledgehammer and a pick ax to smash it up.

"It was very difficult. The stone was like marble -- hard to get through," Otis said a short time after Trump's star was damaged. "It would have taken an hour."

Asked then about the prospect of arrest, he said, "I'm not frightened of jail and I'm certainly not frightened of Mr. Trump. What punishment I get is fine."

Otis is one of two men who have been prosecuted in connection with the vandalism of Trump's star.

In November 2018, Austin Mikel Clay pleaded no contest to a felony count of vandalism for smashing the star with a pickaxe in July 2018.

He was sentenced to 20 days of community labor and three years probation and was ordered to pay more than $9,400 in restitution to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and to undergo psychological counseling.

Following the vandalism in 2018, the then-CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which administers the Walk of Fame, urged would-be vandals to vote if they wanted to make a political statement.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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