By Edwin Folven, 7/26/2012
Fred Willard was arrested at adult theatre in Hollywood
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office will not prosecute actor Fred Willard for allegedly committing a lewd act in a Hollywood adult theatre on July 18 if the actor completes a two-week Alternative Prosecution Program, commonly known as APPS.
Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, said the APPS program is an option made available to defendants who have been arrested for non-violent offenses, and do not have any criminal arrests during the past 10 years. It typically includes counseling for sex or drug crimes, and Mateljan said Willard qualified for the program. The actor’s attorney was notified that Willard must complete the APPS program within the next year. The program costs approximately $380.
“We do feel this was a fileable case, and if he chooses not to participate or doesn’t complete it for whatever reason, we still have up to a year to file charges,” Mateljan said.
Mateljan also confirmed that Willard had been arrested for lewd conduct in 1990, but couldn’t provide any further details. The actor was arrested around 8:50 p.m. on July 18 at the Tiki Theatre in the 5400 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, according to a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson, Officer Rosario Herrera. Uniformed vice officers from the LAPD’s Hollywood Division were conducting a routine inspection of the theatre when they allegedly observed Willard, 72, engaged in the lewd act. He was arrested and taken to the Hollywood community police station, where he was cited and released.
Officer Ed Sakowski, of the Hollywood Division’s Vice Unit, said the inspection was part of regular duties performed by vice officers in Hollywood, which include inspecting adult theatres, adult bookstores, strip clubs, bars and nightclubs. He said the Tiki Theatre shows adult films, and has been in business for more than 25 years.
“We might hit it once a week or once a month,” Sakowski said. “Sometimes we do it if we are getting complaints, but it doesn’t have to be problematic. It’s just part of our regular duties.”
Sakowski said the section of Santa Monica Boulevard where the Tiki Theatre is located has experienced problems with prostitution for years.
“It draws anything and everything,” Sakowski added. “It’s the reason why we have a vice unit in Hollywood.”
Lt. Patrick Shields, commanding officer for the LAPD’s Detective Support and Vice Division, said the Tiki Theatre is one of the few remaining adult theatres in Hollywood. Shields worked in the Hollywood Vice Unit in 2002 and 2003, and said adult theatres and other adult businesses were much more prevalent then.
“That area had its moments. It was a little problematic,” Shields said. “There used to be a lot of [adult theatres], but I can tell you, there’s not many of those places around any more in Hollywood, or anywhere in the city.”