A Hollywood studio architect known for his designs of movie theaters and sound studios was sentenced Monday to eight years in state prison stemming from his conviction for lewd acts with a minor.
Jeffrey Cooper, 70, was also ordered to register as a sex offender, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The long-time member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was convicted in May of three felony counts of lewd acts on a child involving the girl, who was between 12 and 13 at the time between 2005 and 2007 at his home and later reported what had happened to authorities, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Jurors deadlocked on charges against Cooper that involved a second girl.
“Obviously the families are disappointed that the jury didn’t convict as to one victim, but they are very pleased to see the jury at least convicted as to the second victim,” Dave Ring, an attorney for the two accusers and their families, told the Los Angeles Times after the verdict. “It was incredibly satisfying for them to see Cooper immediately remanded to prison for what he did. They’ve been put through nothing short of hell during the last four years of criminal proceedings.”
Alan Jackson, Cooper’s attorney, told jurors in his opening statement that the allegations were false, part of “a money play” and called his client a “target” because of his “wealth, status and resources,” according to The Times.
Cooper, who testified in his own defense, denied the allegations and said there were multiple adults around at all times, including parents and, in the case of one of the girls, her grandparents, who were longtime friends of the Coopers.
A top designer of movie theaters and sound studios, Cooper’s work included an Academy of Television Arts and Sciences theater, as well as more than two dozen mixing studios, according to the website of his Calabasas-based firm.
He also designed home studios for top Hollywood directors, including Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg and was the architect behind the Aish HaTorah World Center in Jerusalem.
Cooper was initially arrested by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in June 2018. He was subsequently taken into custody again after the jury’s verdict May 20.
The case stemmed from an investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau.
In a statement, District Attorney George GascÃ³n said, “Mr. Cooper abused his position of trust and caused incredible harm to helpless victims. I know that nothing can undo the trauma that they have endured, but I hope the victims find peace and healing now that this criminal process is complete.”