Vanessa Hudgens to pay fine or attend court over carving
Vanessa Hudgens can escape court if she pays a fine following her alleged defacing of a rock face in Arizona.
The 27-year-old actress came under fire after posting a picture on Instagram of a carving she had made featuring her and boyfriend Austin Butler's name in a heart on a red rock during their romantic trip over Valentine's Day weekend (13-14Feb16).
She quickly deleted the image, but not before it had come to the attention of the Red Rock Ranger District officials, who believed the stone was located in the Coconino National Forest, Sedona.
Under federal law, people are prohibited from "damaging natural surfaces or property of the United States", with punishments including six months behind bars and/or a $5,000 (£3,500) fine.
On Tuesday (05Apr16), U.S. Forest Service officials said Hudgens had been "cooperative in providing the specific location" of the carving.
Following an investigation, they have referred the results onto the U.S. Attorney's Office in Flagstaff, which have contacted Hudgens and set a potential date for a hearing.
Her options now are to either accept a deal and pay an undisclosed fine and restitution or face a court appearance where a judge will decide her punishment for the misdemeanour violations of defacing and/or damaging natural features.
It is understood that it is just Hudgens under the criminal investigation for the alleged defacing - Butler has escaped any potential charges.
Hudgens has yet to comment on the drama on her social media pages. Her latest posts on Instagram have seen her promoting hair vitamins and showing off her slim frame in a plunging dress.
She also took to the social media site on Monday (04Apr16) to thank her fans after reaching seven million followers on the site. "So so crazy! Thanks for tuning in," she wrote. "So extremely grateful for my fans who lift me up and support me thru the madness (sic)."
- Cover Media