Jeff Cooper, an architect known for his movie theater and studio design for names such as George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, has pleaded guilty to three counts of child molestation.
A jury delivered its verdict Friday after a two-week trial in Los Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys. The decision comes four years after Cooper was arrested and a grand jury indicted him on eight counts involving two children.
On Friday, his trial jury found him guilty of three counts of indecent exposure to a child involving one of his defendants. But the jury failed to rule on the five counts involving his other defendant. Judge Alan Snyder declared the allegations a misdemeanor.
Cooper’s work as an architect includes designing the Academy of Television Arts and Science Theater, as well as more than two dozen mixing studios that have created Academy Award nominees, according to his business website.
Sentenced to June 1, Cooper faces up to 12 years in prison. He is being held without bail after a judge called him a flight risk. Cooper has been released on 5-million bonds.
Cooper was arrested in June 2018 by Los Angeles County Special Victims Bureau detectives. The 66-year-old architect was charged with multiple counts of child molestation, according to court records. One victim was reportedly killed between November 2006 and November 2007, and the other between January 2012 and July 2016. The two accused are now 16 and 28 years old.
The deadline reached Cooper’s attorney, Alan Jackson, but he did not respond immediately.
“Of course families are disappointed that the jury did not convict a victim, but they are happy to see the jury convict at least a second victim,” said Dave Ring, speaking to the Los Angeles Times of the two defendants and one of their family’s attorneys. “It was incredibly satisfying for them that Cooper was immediately sent to prison for what he did. During the last four years of criminal trials, they have been kept in hell.”
Cooper became a member of the Film Academy in 2002.
“The Academy has been alerted to the alleged hate behavior and will address the issue in accordance with our Code of Conduct and the need for due process under California’s nonprofit corporation law.” We will have the basis under our rules to expel any member convicted of a violent crime, “the organization said in a statement before its trial.