In handing down the sentence, Boyd noted that domestic violence happens behind closed doors and that the details in both versions of the events can vary. Boyd said that allowing Sheen to focus on what happened and why it happened “is the best opportunity for the community to be safe.”
Boyd gave Sheen credit for time spent in anger management classes. Richard Cummins, another Sheen attorney, said Sheen already completed 36 hours of anger management classes in California, though Boyd left it up to the 9th Judicial District probation department to determine whether those can be applied to his Colorado case.
“I’m very grateful to the court and to the people of Pitkin County,” Sheen said in a statement after the hearing. “I look forward to complying with the court’s decision, getting on with my life and putting this behind me.”
It was not the first run-in with the law for Sheen, the star of films such as “Platoon,” “Wall Street” and “Hot Shots!”
In December 1996, he was charged with attacking a girlfriend at his Southern California home. He later pleaded no contest and was placed on two years of probation. Allred also represented the victim in that case.
In 1998, his father, actor Martin Sheen, turned him in for violating his parole after a cocaine overdose sent him to the hospital. He was ordered to undergo a rehabilitation program.
Gloria Allred, a Los Angeles attorney representing one of the officers who investigated the case but has since left the department, said after Monday’s hearing that an appropriate sentence would have been jail time.
“It was a serious real life dangerous situation and should carry serious real life consequences … rather than the extremely light sentence that he received today,” she said.
Denver defense attorney Dan Recht, a former president of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, said prosecutors dropping a felony charge in similar cases or a defendant being sentenced to rehabilitation is not unusual.
But he added that domestic violence offenders in nearly all cases are required to attend counseling over a period of nearly nine months, with probation lasting at least a year to allow the court to monitor the counseling.
“Virtually every other case I’ve seen requires everybody to do the 36 weeks of domestic violence counseling,” Recht said.
Associated Press entertainment writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report from Los Angeles.