Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"House of Sand and Fog" director gets probation

A movie director charged with groping two women in a city bar has been granted probation on criminal charges.

Vadim Perelman, 43, of Venice, Calif., was placed on accelerated rehabilitation Monday during an appearance in Superior Court.

Perelman, who directed the 2003 film "House of Sand and Fog," will have the charges dropped and his record cleansed if he stays out of trouble for two years. Accelerated rehabilitation is a form of probation that requires no guilty plea and is designed for first-time offenders facing minor charges.

Perelman's upcoming film, "In Bloom," stars Uma Thurman and was shot partly in Norwalk. He was arrested on July 22, shortly after he left Rain Ultralounge & Sushi Bar, where two women said he touched their buttocks.

Prosecutors said that one of the women's boyfriends confronted Perelman, who threw a punch that missed the boyfriend and struck his date. Police found Perelman walking a short distance away after the club's manager flagged down a patrol officer.

Perelman was charged with third-degree assault and two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault.

As part of his special probation, Perelman must make a $1,000 charitable contribution and perform 100 hours of community service. The judge also ordered Perelman to undergo substance-abuse evaluation and, if necessary, treatment.


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