LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A hit-and-run victim Tuesday successfully convinced a judge to increase the punishment for a young Hollywood actor who ran her over in 2013.
Camille Banham was struck on Aug. 6, 2013 by an SUV while riding her bicycle. She suffered severe injuries including a broken hip and multiple fractures.
Banham was wheelchair-bound until she had to learn to walk again.
Officials say the suspect, Spencer Lofranco, who starred in the Oscar-nominated movie “Unbroken”, got out of his vehicle after the incident and apologized to the victim before leaving the scene.
“I used to call what happened to me an accident, and it would’ve been an accident if Spencer had stayed and helped me after he got out of his car and saw me injured on the side of the road, but instead he chose to leave me,” Banham said in part during Tuesday’s sentencing hearing in which Lofranco was expected to be given 10 days community service.
After listening to Banham’s statement, the judge increased the sentence to 50 days community service with Caltrans along with two years probation and $161,000 in restitution.
“I’m happy that my words made an impact, that they got him more than 10 days of community service that we did get it moved up to 50 — that’s something. The judge was upset when he heard what I had to say,” Banham said.
Lofranco’s charge was also reduced to a misdemeanor. His defense attorney Michael Levin argued the actor simply left in fear.
“It was an accident. The crime here was not leaving his identification at the scene. That’s not what injured her, and for that reason you have to look at not so much the injuries as you have to look at what happened after and what happened after does not make him a monster,” Levin said.
Banham added she hopes Lofranco pays it forward for the luck he received in court Tuesday.