Date: 6th December 2002

Winona 'Needs' Drug Therapy

Actor Winona Ryder would undergo drug and psychiatric counselling under a sentencing recommendation after being convicted of shoplifting at a Beverly Hills store last year.
The twice Oscar-nominated actor is also likely to escape jail when she is sentenced later this week with Los Angeles prosecutors yesterday seeking that Ryder, 31, instead be put on probation for three years.

The actor was convicted last month in a Beverly Hills court of grand theft and vandalism over her shoplifting spree in December, 2001, at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. She was acquitted of a commercial burglary charge.

Prosecutors asked for the counselling after attempting to prove during the week-long trial that the actor was a repeat shoplifter who had previously been caught stealing at two stores in LA and New York.

Deputy District Attorney Ann Rundle unsuccessfully sought to present evidence that Ryder had been the subject of in-store reports about her shoplifting although no criminal charges were laid.

One store had allegedly forced Ryder to hand back clothes after catching her on video shoplifting.

The drug counselling follows the discovery of eight narcotics, including liquid Demerol, Vicoden, Percodan, Valium and morphine sulfate, in Ryder's possession when she was arrested.

Prescriptions were obtained from several different physicians and Ryder used at least two names to obtain them.

Police later confirmed prescriptions for all but one of the drugs, Endocet, but a subsequent charge for illegal possession of the drug was dismissed.

Prosecutors have asked the judge to order Ryder to use only her true name, Winona Horowitz, or her stage name when seeking a prescription.

"Ms Ryder should also have to submit her person and property under her control to search or seizure at any time of the day or night by any probation officer or other peace officer with or without a warrant or probable cause," prosecutors said.

Ryder, star of Girl, Interrupted, may also have to pay more than $50,000 in fines and restitution and complete 480 hours of community service.

The payment would include more than $10,000 for the stolen items and a fine of $20,000.

Herald Sun

Source: Press Release



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