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Sean Penn charged with battery in L.A. attack on photographer [Updated]

February 19, 2010 | 11:17 am

Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn was charged Friday with battery and vandalism for allegedly attacking a photographer and breaking his camera outside Brentwood Country Mart in October, officials said.

Penn faces up to 18 months in jail if convicted of the misdemeanor charges of battery and vandalism stemming from the Oct. 2 run-in with a photographer.

The charges were filed by the L.A. city attorney's office. The incident was captured on video and broadcast on TMZ, the celebrity website.

"We are alleging he kicked a photographer and and we are also accusing him of breaking the photographer's camera," said Frank Mateljan, a city attorney spokesman.

Penn will be arraigned March 22 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

[Updated at 11:35 a.m.: The 49-year-old actor, who won best actor Oscars for "Milk" and "Mystic River," was known in his younger days for his clashes with the paparazzi. In 1987, he was sentenced to 60 days in jail for punching a movie extra on the set of the police drama "Colors." He was on probation at the time for punching a songwriter at a Silver Lake nightclub because he thought the man had kissed his wife, Madonna.

During the "Colors"incident, Penn pummeled the movie extra during a break in filming. In 1985, Penn received a suspended sentence after pleading no contest to charges he had attacked two British journalists who tried to photograph Madonna outside a Nashville hotel.]

--Richard Winton

Photo: Sean Penn at Academy Awards. Credit: Los Angeles Times