Comedian Paula Poundstone was sentenced Wednesday to five years' probation and six months of drug treatment for endangering her foster and adopted children.
A Los Angeles judge also stripped her of the right to be a foster parent.
Poundstone, who has been a fixture on the stand-up comedy scene for 20 years, pleaded no contest last month to felony child endangerment and misdemeanor infliction of injury upon a child. In exchange, Los Angeles County prosecutors dropped three counts of lewd acts upon a child.
"Given everything that's going on in the world, my problems clearly don't amount to very much," Poundstone said in a statement released after her appearance at Superior Court in Santa Monica. "Still, to the extent that anyone is interested, I'm glad that the legal proceedings against me have been settled."
The felony charge stemmed from an incident June 6, when the 41-year-old comic was intoxicated and drove the children, ages 2 to 12, to get ice cream, her attorney said. The misdemeanor charge was a case of "inappropriate touching" that occurred between May 19 and June 6, according to prosecutors.
Judge Bernard J. Kamins said Poundstone must complete the 55 days left on her six months at a drug treatment center, attend psychiatric counseling, participate in a child abuse prevention program, and stay away from alcohol and drugs. He also sentenced her to complete 200 hours of community service and pay $1,000 in fines.
Kamins issued three protective orders laying out guidelines for behavior with the adopted children, but promptly sealed them to protect the children's privacy. The three adopted and two foster children were removed from Poundstone's home after she was arrested June 27.
Despite defense requests, the judge refused to allow Poundstone to perform comedy while she is receiving treatment. Kamins told her to concentrate on her alcohol problem and being a good parent.
"What I don't want to do is treat her much differently because of her status in the media spotlight," he said. Kamins said he would review the decision about whether she can work when she returns to court Nov. 13 for a progress report.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Gina Satriano said Poundstone's behavior was motivated by her psychological and alcohol issues and that the sentence addresses both.
"All of the conditions of probation protect the community and address her issues so she doesn't do this again," Satriano said.
Outside the courthouse, defense attorney Steven Cron said this has not been a pleasant experience for Poundstone, but that she has been able to find humor in it. "Someone who is as smart and as witty and perceptive as Paula manages to find humor, and she has," he said.
Cron said his client is working to get back her adopted children, and has visited them regularly since she voluntarily checked into a Malibu rehabilitation center in June. Poundstone attended Wednesday's hearing, but declined to answer reporters' questions.
In her statement, Poundstone said she is concentrating on "completing my rehab and getting my family back together." She has denied molesting her children but admitted to having an alcohol problem, saying her drinking helped create a dangerous situation for the children.
Dennis Albaugh, who has worked with Poundstone, attended the sentencing to support his longtime friend.
"I'm looking forward to her being back [on the comedy scene] with us," he said. "We all miss her."