A Van Nuys Municipal Court judge refused Friday to place troubled actor Adam Rich in a drug treatment program and instead ordered him to stand trial on a charge that he attempted to steal drugs from a hospital.
Judge Robert L. Swasey ordered a preliminary hearing Jan. 9 on a charge that the actor took a drug-filled syringe off a tray and tried to conceal it in his pocket Oct. 6 while at Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital in Marina del Rey, where he had gone complaining of shoulder pain.
The case was moved to Van Nuys where Rich, 23, of Chatsworth already faces a January trial on charges he broke into a West Hills pharmacy April 6 to steal drugs.
Rich, who as a child played Nicholas Bradford on the long-running television series "Eight Is Enough," has had two other run-ins with the law in little over a year.
On Friday, Swasey rejected the appeal of Rich's attorney, Floyd J. Siegal, who asked that his client be placed in a drug diversion program. If defendants complete such programs successfully, the charges against them are usually dismissed.
Swasey agreed with Deputy Dist. Atty. Terese M. Hutchison who argued against placing Rich in a program, citing his frequent run-ins with authorities and the fact that he has been in drug programs before.
Outside of court, Hutchison said Rich sees the treatment programs as a means of getting around facing criminal charges. She also noted that he had been treated for drug dependency before his arrest and that it did not change his behavior.
"For him, they are a joke," she said.
Previously, Rich has been described by police, prosecutors and his own attorney as being addicted to painkillers.
In addition to the hospital and pharmacy break-in cases, Rich was convicted in Beverly Hills last year of driving under the influence and placed on probation. He pleaded no contest Oct. 4 to trespassing in a plea bargain stemming from his April 16 arrest for shoplifting at a Northridge department store. He was placed on probation and ordered to complete a drug treatment program.