by Paul Boss, Daily Wire:
“Not a single Hollywood publicist who represents child actors has obtained a permit”
The #MeToo movement has barely scratched the surface of Hollywood’s internal rot. A new bombshell report from Deadline shows that a law specifically enacted to protect child actors from sexual predators has largely gone ignored since being signed into law in 2012.
Enacted five years ago thanks to the pen-stroke of Gov. Jerry Brown, law AB 1660 protects child actors by requiring “publicists, managers, acting coaches and headshot photographers who work with child actors to be fingerprinted and pass an FBI background check to screen out registered sex offenders.” Should they pass the screening, only then will they be issued a Child Performer Services Permit.
“A Deadline investigation, however, has found that not a single Hollywood publicist who represents child actors has obtained a permit,” reports the outlet. “Dozens of managers, acting coaches and photographers who work with child stars have also failed to comply with the law, which is punishable by a year in county jail and a $10,000 fine. And yet, no one has ever been charged with breaking it.”
The law sought to prevent registered sex offenders from working with children under alias names. Such was the case of Robert Villard, who served as a publicist, manager, acting coach and photographer for many years despite having a laundry list of sex crimes attached to his name.
“In 1987, he was convicted of possessing child pornography, but the conviction was overturned on appeal,” reports Deadline. “He was arrested again in 2001 after a police raid of his home turned up thousands of photos of scantily clad boys in sexually suggestive positions. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to three years’ probation.”
Since Villard operated under the assumed name Bob Moniker, he flew under the radar until being busted again in 2005 for committing a lewd act against a 13-year-old boy, a crime for which he pleaded no contest. He served seven years in prison and it was his release in 2012 that prompted AB 1660 into existence.
“Before this, there was nothing to stop him from returning to the industry and starting the abuse cycle all over again,” said BizParentz co-founder Anne Henry, the lead sponsor of AB 1660. “We wanted something to prevent that from happening.”
Deadline listed a litany of other examples similar to the Robert Villard case:
Martin Weiss, a personal manager to many young stars, got out of jail shortly before the law went into effect, having served six months after pleading no contest to two counts of oral copulation with an 11-year-old boy whose career he was managing. Like Villard, he too operated under fake names including Maximilian Weiss, Paul Weiss and Menachem Mendel. But if either of them tries to apply under a fake name for a permit to represent child actors again, their fingerprints will give them away.