Sundance co-founder gets at least 6 years in sex abuse case

AMERICAN FORK, Utah (AP) — A filmmaker who co-founded the Sundance Film Festival and produced a movie whose lead actress won an Oscar in the mid-1980s has been sentenced to at least six years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual abuse of a child.

Judge Roger Griffin recommended the parole board keep Sterling Van Wagenen in prison longer than the minimum six years. His sentence is six years to life in prison.

Van Wagenen didn’t apologize because he said it would be “meaningless,” but said he feels the consequences of his actions deeply.

Prosecutors say the 72-year-old Van Wagenen touched a young girl on two occasions between 2013 and 2015.

He co-founded a film festival with Robert Redford that became the Sundance Film Festival but hasn’t been with the organization for over 20 years.

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