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Academy Award-nominee Gary Busey has been charged with several sexual offenses that allegedly took place at a horror convention, authorities say.
The 78-year-old actor was a featured guest at Monster Mania, a semi-annual horror-themed convention held at the Doubletree by Hilton in Cherry Hill, New Jersey (which is outside Philadelphia). Police say they responded to the hotel during the three-day event, which was held between Aug. 12 and Aug. 14, after receiving a report of a “sex offense” allegedly committed by the Malibu, California-based actor.
Following an investigation, Cherry Hill Police detectives charged Busey on Friday with two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of fourth-degree criminal attempt/criminal sexual contact and one count of harassment.
Authorities remained tight-lipped about the specific accusations against the actor in their press release, but Cherry Hill Police Chief Robert Kempf told ABC News that three women came forward to accuse Busey of inappropriately touching them during a meet-and-greet on Aug. 13.
Cherry Hill Police Lt. Robert Scheunemann told The Philadelphia Inquirer they received “multiple complaints” and that the alleged incidents were “about contact” and “about touching.”
It was not clear whether or not Busey has obtained local legal representation in the case.
He does not appear in Camden County jail records.
Busey was scheduled to appear for all three days of Monster Mania Con 50, according to the convention’s webpage.
Oxygen.com reached out to Monster Mania but did not receive an immediate response. However, a law firm representing the convention released a statement Saturday evening to CNN.
“Our client, Monster-Mania LLC, is assisting authorities in their investigation into an alleged incident involving attendees and a celebrity guest at its convention in Cherry Hill, New Jersey last weekend,” the release stated. “Immediately upon receiving a complaint from the attendee, the celebrity guest was removed from the convention and instructed not to return. Monster-Mania also encouraged the attendees to contact the police to file a report.”
Police Chief Kempf said they spoke with Busey following the initial report, but have had no correspondence with any legal representatives, according to ABC News.
Busey’s film roles include "Lethal Weapon," "Point Break," "Predator 2" and "The Buddy Holly Story"; the latter earned him an Academy Award nomination in 1978.
Busey’s career, however, has been overshadowed by several events in his personal life, including a serious 1988 motorcycle accident that resulted in brain injury, according to the Inquirer. The actor has admitted that he began abusing cocaine after his Oscar nomination and only stopped after a near-fatal overdose in 1995. His past substance abuse garnered him a spot on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab with Doctor Drew” in 2008, though Busey reportedly had 13 years sober, according to the Guardian, during which the show's psychiatrist suggested that his 1988 brain injury may have had longer lasting effects on Busey's brain function than previously realized.
Busy was later accused of groping a woman when he appeared as a contestant on Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2011 and has faced multiple arrests for alleged intimate partner violence, according to the Inquirer.
Cherry Hill police say the investigation into the recent charges is ongoing, and anyone with additional information should contact the department's Detective Robert Daniello at 1-856-432-8834 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Busey is expected to appear at the Camden Superior Court later this month.
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