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Ojai Actor James Stacy Arrested in Hawaii

December 09, 1995|PAUL ELIAS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Television actor and Ojai resident James Stacy was arrested Friday in Hawaii on a Ventura County warrant charging him with skipping sentencing on a child molestation felony count.

Honolulu police arrested Stacy in a local hospital, nine days after he allegedly tried to kill himself by jumping off the Pali Lookout, a windy, 1,200-foot cliff above the Pacific Ocean popular with tourists.

But he fell only 45 feet to a grassy ledge and suffered scratches and bruises. He was kept in the hospital because he was suicidal, officials said.

Stacy--whose real name is Maurice W. Elias--skipped his child molestation sentencing in Ventura County on Thursday. Honolulu Police Lt. Donna Andersen said Stacy, 59, is being held in an observation cell, awaiting an extradition hearing Monday.

If the actor agrees to forgo extradition proceedings, he will be returned to Ventura County as soon as a sheriff's deputy can be sent to get him, Deputy Dist. Atty. Dee Corona said. But if he decides to fight extradition, it could take weeks to get him back.

Stacy pleaded no contest in Ventura County Superior Court last month to a felony charge of molesting the 11-year-old daughter of friends visiting his house March 29.

While out on bail and awaiting trial on that charge, Stacy was arrested twice in June for misdemeanor prowling. He pleaded no contest to secreting himself outside an Ojai backyard and watching three pre-teen girls jump on a trampoline. The girls screamed when he approached them in his motorized wheelchair and police were called. Prosecutors dropped the other prowling charge.

He was due to be sentenced Thursday on both charges and faced more than eight years in prison. But he skipped that hearing and Municipal Court Judge Steven Hintz issued an arrest warrant that was entered into a national computer system that nearly every police agency uses, Corona said.

Corona said prosecutors discovered Stacy was in Hawaii when reporters began calling her office soon after the suicide attempt. But she said she could take no action until he missed his court appearance.

Stacy starred in the television western "Lancer" in the late 1960s and appeared on TV as recently as 1986 when he played a Vietnam veteran on an episode of "Cagney and Lacey."

He was once married to Connie Stevens. He lost his left arm and leg in a 1973 motorcycle accident that killed his passenger.

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