Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Sean Penn avoided a sentence of three years in jail when he pleaded no contest Wednesday to a misdemeanor charge of vandalism, for a 2009 incident involving a scuffle with a paparazzi photographer. The actor, 49, was ordered to complete three years of probation, 300 hours of community service and take an anger-management class, after prosecutors dropped the battery count that the Oscar winner originally faced for allegedly beating up Jordan Dawes.
Back in October 2009, Dawes alleged that Penn began shouting obscenities him and other photogs who were trying get a shot of him -- then, Dawes said, Penn just lost it.
"He beelined it for me and started kicking me in the legs," the pap said after the incident. "As I was backing away, I was still shooting. Then he got me to the other side of the street and punched me in the arm and in my camera."
Penn allegedly threatened to "put him in a box" and told Dawes he would remember his face.
In court Wednesday, the actor was ordered to say away from the photographer, and the judge will rule on July 8 on how much Penn must pay in restitution to the victim. Dawes still has a personal lawsuit pending against the actor, as well. The next hearing in that case is May 27.
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