Danièle Watts and Brian James Lucas have both been charged with lewd conduct stemming from an incident with police in September.
Watts, who appeared in Django Unchained, and her boyfriend Lucas face charges for allegedly having sex in public. According to the Los Angeles Times, on Tuesday, the district attorney filed misdemeanor lewd conduct charges; if convicted they could face a six month sentence and a $1000 fine.
Watts and Lucas both disputed police version of events and spoke out after they were detained. Her story sparked headlines worldwide after she accused the police of thinking she was a prostitute simply because she was a black woman showing affection to her white boyfriend."Today I was handcuffed and detained by 2 police officers from the Studio City Police Department after refusing to agree that I had done something wrong by showing affection, fully clothed, in a public place," Watts wrote on her Facebook page.
The officers said they were called to the scene by witnesses who saw the couple having sex. They launched an investigation and later released an audio recording of their encounter with Watts.The police pointed the finger at Watts for not giving them her ID; Watts countered by affirming her right to refuse their request for identification. She later penned an op-ed in which she denied having sex in public and asserted her "right as an American to limit intrusions by police:"
Many people believe they know what happened that day.
Here's what I know. I was standing on the grass near a public sidewalk when a Los Angeles Police Department officer approached Brian. He said he had received a call about a couple engaged in lewd conduct and asked for our IDs. A few minutes before, Brian and I had been making out in his car; I was sitting on his lap. We were not having sex, and both of us had our clothes on.
I told the officer, Sgt. Jim Parker, I did not want to give him my ID as it was obvious nothing illegal was going on. He said I had to give it to him, and he was going to get it "one way or another." And one way or another, he did.
Could I have been calmer, or more patient? Certainly. Still, the sergeant seemed to be trying to teach me a lesson. "She needs to know that she doesn't dictate what happens," he says on the recorded police audio.
Watts and Lucas are scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 13.