A man accused of publicly smashing President-elect Donald Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star with a sledgehammer and pickax pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony vandalism charge, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
James Lambert Otis, 52, faces one felony count of vandalism for causing more than $400 in damage to the star, which was destroyed on Oct. 26, about two weeks before the election.
The star’s destruction was captured on video and showed Otis wearing a construction vest as he hacked away at the star. The brass and terrazzo tribute is located near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.
Otis talked with The Times about his actions, expressing his disdain for the president-elect.
“I just sort of had enough with Mr. Trump’s aggressive language toward women and his behavior, his sexual violence with women and against women,” Otis said at the time. “I’ve had personally in my own family four people who have been assaulted or have had sexual violence happen to them. It all became very personal.”
After smashing the star, Otis removed the center TV emblem, some letters of Trump’s name and a small piece of the star. He kept the brass pieces.
Otis said he planned to auction them off and raise money for women who accused Trump of assault as well as a college organization working to end sexual violence on campuses.
Los Angeles police estimated the damage at $2,500. Otis has said he would “gladly pay the damages to the site.”
Otis was arrested later that week.
If convicted as charged, Otis could face a possible maximum sentence of three years in jail, according to the district attorney’s office.
He has been scheduled to return to court on Dec. 5.