Agent guilty of fondling actresses

Talent agent Wallace Kaye was convicted of sexual battery Wednesday for pinning down actresses and fondling them during auditions in his office.

He faces a maximum of nine years in jail, said deputy district attorney Mark Collier.

Sentencing was set for June 9, and Kaye was released on $ 150,000 bail.

Kaye, 52, was arrested last October after attacks on 11 women, including an undercover police officer, at the Kaye Talent Agency in Burbank. All the victims were between the ages of 20 and 35.

Prosecutors said Kaye encouraged aspiring actresses into improvisational acting scenes in his office. As the actresses performed seduction scenes at Kaye’s urging, the agent would pin them and touch their breasts, buttocks and groins, Collier said.

The jury convicted him of six counts of felony sexual battery by restraint, three felony counts of false imprisonment by violence or menace, and one misdemeanor count of battery. He was acquitted of one count of false imprisonment.

Kaye had argued that improvisational scenes including sexual petting were common in the entertainment industry, Collier said. But the state called as a witness another agent who testified that wasn’t the case.

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