The Black Hawk Down star faces time for violating probation on drug charges

By Howard Breuer
Updated June 25, 2007 03:50 PM

Tom Sizemore on Monday was sentenced to 16 months in prison for violating his probation in a drug-related case – though a prosecutor tells PEOPLE the actor will only serve two to seven months should he receive credit for time he’s already spent in rehab.

Sizemore, 45, was already on three years’ probation for a previous drug conviction when he was arrested May 8 outside the Four Points Sheraton in Bakersfield, Calif., on suspicion of seven drug-related charges, including methamphetamine possession.

Last week, in anticipation of his sentencing, the Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan star – who this year had a VH1 reality show about his battle with drugs, Shooting Sizemoretearfully begged Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Cynthia Rayvis not to put him behind bars.

But prosecutors insisted that Sizemore has been given enough breaks, with Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney telling the judge, “I think the time has come for the court to revoke his probation.”

Four years ago, Sizemore was sentenced to six months in jail for physically abusing so-called “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss during their two-year relationship. He later violated probation by contacting Fleiss, failing several drug tests, and using a prosthetic device in an attempt to fake a drug test – but in 2005 another judge issued only a stern caution to Sizemore and allowed him to stay free. (Sizemore is still appealing that conviction.)

Deputy District Attorney Carney tells PEOPLE that, despite Sizemore’s long list of violations, the actor never spent more than one night behind bars before this month, when he was placed in jail on June 5 after surrendering on a warrant.

“I think it’s clear from his record that probation isn’t the answer,” Carney tells PEOPLE. “He used a Whizzinator, he lied to the court, he has a history of domestic violence and of deceiving the court, and given somebody with that kind of problem, the court needs to send him to the kind of rehab he’s not going to be able to walk away from: prison.”

Sizemore attorney’s Fay Arfa counters by saying that her client needs drug treatment instead, also telling the court that Sizemore should receive credit for the 300 days he spent in rehab.

A hearing will be held Tuesday to determine that matter. Meanwhile, Carney says he intends to check those numbers against his records – and if the court concludes that Alfa is correct, he says, Sizemore could serve as little as two months in prison.

West Wing star Martin Sheen attended the hearing to support Sizemore, but did not address the judge. He told reporters outside the courtroom: “I don’t think prison is appropriate for anyone who is in the grip of drug and alcohol abuse.”