Actor Gary Busey has been charged with several counts of criminal sexual contact in connection with multiple alleged “incidents” at a Monster-Mania Conviction in suburban Philadelphia, the Cherry Hill, New Jersey Police Department said in a Saturday press release.
Busey, 78, of Malibu, California, was charged Friday, Aug. 19, regarding allegations that occurred over the course of the Friday, Aug. 12 to Sunday, Aug. 14 event, the police department indicated.
An investigation commenced when officers responded to a report of a “sex offense” at the DoubleTree Hotel on West Route 70 during the aforementioned three-day span of happenings, the department wrote.
The details of the allegations were not released.
Busey faces two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual contact, one count of fourth-degree criminal attempt/criminal sexual contact, and one count of harassment (listed as a “disorderly persons offense”), according to the press release.
The Associated Press reported that the convention took place at the aforementioned DoubleTree hotel and that Busey “was scheduled as a featured guest for all three days of the event.”
The AP said that neither the police nor a Busey representative responded to requests for comment; it was also unclear whether Busey had an attorney in the matter.
Busey’s name does not appear among the inmates booked into the Camden County, New Jersey jail at any point between Friday, Aug. 12 and Saturday, Aug. 20, a Law&Crime search of an online inmate database revealed. The police department’s press release does not indicate that Busey was arrested.
NBC News described the convention as “an event celebrating horror film and memorabilia.”
The publication Variety explained further:
The actor corresponded with attendees throughout the weekend, appearing in several photographs shared by fans on social media. According to the convention’s resources, the actor was listed as an attendant of the Autograph Room, along with other actors like Ralph Macchio, Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwright. Busey has appeared at Monster-Mania in prior editions of the convention.
Under New Jersey law, fourth-degree criminal sexual contact can involve “using coercion” or making contact “without the victim’s affirmative and freely-given permission,” and it applies where “the victim does not sustain severe personal injury.” It can also hypothetically apply in a few other select and specific circumstances as defined in a concomitant state statute.
Fourth-degree crimes are felonies that can technically result in a prison sentence of up to 18 months, but they carry presumptive “non-custodial” sentences with no prison time.
It is unclear under which subsection of the law Busey is accused.
The police department asked for tips about the incident in the following manner:
The investigation into this matter is ongoing and anyone with additional information is urged to contact Detective Robert Daniello of the Cherry Hill Police Department at (856) 432-8834. Tips can also be submitted anonymously by emailing [email protected] or clicking on Information can also be sent by texting TIP CHERRYHILLPD followed by your message to 888777.
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.)
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