Sundance co-founder sentenced to six years in child sex abuse case

Pervert Sterling Van Wagen

From Hollywood Reporter: A filmmaker who co-founded the Sundance Film Festival and produced a movie whose lead actress won an Oscar in the mid-1980s was sentenced Tuesday to at least six years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual abuse of a child.

The judge who delivered the sentence of six years to life said that he hopes the parole board will keep 72-year-old Sterling Van Wagenen in prison longer than the minimum.

Judge Robert Griffin commended the young victim for reporting what happened. Prosecutors say Van Wagenen touched a young girl on two occasions between 2013 and 2015.

“You did the right thing and you’re not responsible for anything that happened and anything that will happen,” said Griffin during the hearing south of Salt Lake City. “You’re a brave young lady.”

The sister of the victim, whose name the Associated Press is withholding because she is a victim of sexual abuse, read a letter on her sister’s behalf blasting Van Wagenen for lying and being a coward.
“I strongly believe the only thing you were actually torn up about is the fact that you got caught,” the sister said.

Van Wagenen declined to apologize when he spoke to the victim and her family. “It’s clear that any kind of apology I can make is meaningless at this point,” Van Wagenen said. “So I am not even going to attempt one. I want you all to know I feel the consequences of what I’ve done. I feel them deeply.”

He pleaded guilty earlier this year to two counts of sexual abuse of a child, both involving the same victim, as part of a plea deal.

Van Wagenen co-founded a Utah film festival that came to be known as Sundance Film Festival with Robert Redford and was the Sundance Institute’s founding executive director, but hasn’t been with the organization for more than 20 years.

He was a producer on the 1985 film The Trip to Bountiful, a story of an elderly woman who longs to return to her home that earned the late actress Geraldine Page an Academy Award.

Van Wagenen has worked over the years as a film instructor at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University and as a director and producer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on a variety of projects, including temple videos.

He resigned from his part-time instructor position at the University of Utah’s Film and Media Arts Department on Feb. 15, university spokesman Chris Nelson said.

Van Wagenen’s resignation came after a man accused Van Wagenen of molesting him as a boy in 1993. No charges were filed in that case, which was made public by a website that serves as a watchdog for The Church of Jesus of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon church.

Van Wagenen thanked that man, who was in court Tuesday, saying it was a “blessing” that he brought “this all to light.”

DCG

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cogitoergosumantraJackie PuppetAuntie LuluwilliamofberkshireWilliam Recent comment authors
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Alma
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Alma

Let that M.F. – S.O.B. rot away in jail until his last breath takes him away for good. Harm already done, too late to be sorry and repent his actions.

Kevin Lankford
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Kevin Lankford

Wonder how much robert redford know about his …?friend??

Lophatt
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Lophatt

For these couple that he was caught with, there are probably dozens more. Interesting that he only gets six years for this. I think this is a problem that is MUCH more widespread that most realize.

YouKnowWho
Guest
YouKnowWho

You mean like the judges that are sentencing these cretons?
The judiciary should be examined like the catholic church.

YouKnowWho
Guest
YouKnowWho

Color me surprised

William
Member
William

His non-apology shows no sincere repentance. He’ll probably get out in a few years, the whole incident just a speed bump on the road of life. I’m sure there were many more. Like Lophatt says this is a much bigger problem than we realize. Just the tip of the iceberg. Pizzagate/pedogate was the tip of the iceberg. It’s an enormous iceberg

Lophatt
Member
Lophatt

Yes, and believe me, I take no pleasure in saying it. It has always been around. I do think that, with the advent of Satanism as something “cool”, it is more open and “accepted” than in the past. Many of these “celebrities” engage in this behavior. They have the motive, means and opportunity. Their “cool” colleagues wink and make jokes about it. Just like Epstein’s antics or the NXIVM thing. Beneath that are other levels of depravity. Simply reading some of it like the Dutroux affair is stunning. They were ALL in on it. The cops, the judges, the politicians,… Read more »

William
Member
William

The Dutreaux affair was indeed amazing. The level of depravity beyond description. And they kept letting him off. Finally 300,000 Belgians demonstrated in front of Parliament to show their anger and disgust. Belgians generally aren’t into mass demonstrations

Lophatt
Member
Lophatt

Yeah, precisely. And at the end of the day, nothing changed.

Auntie Lulu
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Auntie Lulu

A six year sentence for stealing the innocence, and ruining the life of a child is just ridiculous. Send them away forever, until the time they are taken from this Earth.

cogitoergosumantra
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cogitoergosumantra

Just saw the Epstein himself went to jail today for his pedophilia ring. CBSN said Clinton (Bill) had taken 22 trips on Jeffrey’s private jet in the early 2000s… wonder where he was going and what (who) he was doing?

Lophatt
Member
Lophatt

I also note that his prosecutor is James Comey’s daughter! I’m sure its just a coincidence.