Rodney King pleads guilty to drugs, will get treatment

The Associated Press
Saturday October 27, 2001

POMONA — Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by police led to the 1992 Los Angeles riot, pleaded guilty Friday to drug-related charges and was ordered to spend a year in treatment. 

King, 36, unexpectedly entered the pleas during a brief hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court. 

King admitted to three misdemeanor counts of being under the influence of PCP and one count of indecent exposure, the district attorney’s office said in a statement. 

He was ordered to spend a year in the American Recovery Center, a live-in drug treatment facility in Pomona. 

King, who was free on $7,500 bond, checked into the center after the hearing, defense attorney Antonio J. Bestard said. 

“I think he will be successful because he wants to get rid of this,” the attorney said. “He’s had a very bad time this year.” 

“I think this was the best result,” he added. “I think the court, particularly, was very understanding.” 

Prosecutor Thomas Gowen had sought a year in county jail for King, who could have faced more than three years in jail if he had gone on trial and been convicted. 

But district attorney’s spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons called the sentence acceptable. 

“It’s obvious that Mr. King needs some help and, hopefully, he’ll get it there,” she said. 

King was arrested earlier this month in Pomona for allegedly driving while under the influence of a psychedelic drug. 

On Sept. 29, he was arrested by Pomona police for allegedly being under the influence of PCP and exposing himself. 

And earlier last month, he pleaded innocent to another charge of being under the psychedelic drug, stemming from an Aug. 28 arrest by Claremont police at a hotel. 

His guilty pleas end all three cases, but he faces a Nov. 20 hearing in San Bernardino County for allegedly violating probation in a 1999 misdemeanor domestic abuse case. 

King’s 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police led to the 1992 riot when a jury acquitted four officers of most state charges and deadlocked on one count. Two officers were later convicted in federal court of violating King’s civil rights. 

King won a $3.8 million settlement in a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles.