February 6th, 2008
It was a good day in court for Hidetada Yamagishi.
Yamagishi was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport on December 8 and charged with six felonies and three misdemeanors. Today, Wednesday February 6, at Los Angeles Superior Court all felony charges were dismissed along with two misdemeanor counts, as Yamagishi pled no contest to one misdemeanor count of possession of Viagra without a prescription. Yamagishi was sentenced to 24 months of summary probation with credit for time served, which amounted to 91 days - the 61 days Yamagishi has been incarcerated in the North County Correctional Facility in Castaic, California and 30 days credit for good time served. According to Yamagishi's defense attorney Shawn Chapman Holley, the scenario was the best possible outcome for Yamagishi.
"I met with Mr. Lynch who is the Head Deputy of the District Attorney's office yesterday," Chapman Holley said. "I presented him a packet of materials. Not only declarations from people indicating that there was no way in the world that the amount of steroids that he possessed was for distribution but also...a lot of character letters. Also, our concern is what is going to happen in the immigration court. We had an extensive letter from the immigration attorney talking about what is likely to happen in the immigration proceedings. I wanted the DA to consider all of these things because this is a great guy, a great competitor and a great athlete who had no intention of selling or distributing any of these compounds. And he is also going to have to face a number of serious consequences with regard to immigration and with regard to whatever sponsorships he has. So I wanted to take all of that into consideration and assess what made sense."
Yamagishi will now have to wait to see how things proceed in Immigration court to see what happens to his 01 visa, given to people with extraordinary talents and abilities, such as professional athletes. Should that visa be revoked - which remains a possibility - Yamagishi would have to find another avenue in which to enter the United States to compete in professional bodybuilding contests.
"Hopefully he will be able to ultimately come back to this country and compete," Chapman Holley said.
According to Chapman Holley, Yamagishi will be released from the custody of the Sheriffs department today. Flexonline has learned that Yamagishi is currently in transport to the Federal Correctional Institute in San Pedro, California. "I don't know what will happen there," Chapman Holley said. "They may send him immediately back to Japan at which point he will have to work with his immigration attorney to get back to the states hopefully to compete."
Yamagishi entered the court room wearing a long-sleeved thermal underwear shirt under a lime green LA County Jail prison-issue uniform and sat at a table next to Chapman Holley and the court-appointed Japanese translator. Presiding judge Amy Hogue never addressed Yamagishi directly. Yamagishi was ordered to pay $120 in court fees. He was in court for approximately five minutes.