Gary Alan Coe, the viral sensation who stole the show at the Oscars, had served a 22-year prison sentence for attempted rape and was released from jail just three days before his 15 minutes of fame.
‘Gary from Chicago’ and his fiancee Vickie Vines were the highlight of the Oscars as part of the group of tourists Jimmy Kimmel brought to Dolby Theater during Sunday night’s show.
In a night overshadowed by the Best Picture screw up, Gary and Vicki were easily the best part of this year’s Academy Awards, even getting fake married by Denzel Washington. However, just when you thought the story of Gary from Chicago couldn’t get any more bizarre, it does. As it turns out, Gary was released from serving a twenty-year jail sentence just three days before the Academy Awards. Gary, a South Shore, Chicago native, was released from a California prison after serving two decades for several felonies, ABC7 reported.
Three days before the Oscars, Gary said he was released from a California prison after serving 20 years for multiple felonies. While paying his debt to society, he said he found Vickie Vines, his fiancee, and religion.
Coe was freed from Corcoran Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, outside of Bakersfield, California.
“Change is possible. It’s a sad day to be in prison for 20 years and not be able to be a dad, granddad to your children,” Gary told ABC.
“You know what my son told me today, man, and I almost come to tears. He said he’s proud of me. So to hear your children say that they’re proud of me means the world to me.”
Gary, 59, and Vicki will be officially getting married in California this summer.
Gary from Chicago! We've got you covered if you want to come to a game! #Oscars
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 27, 2017
— Gino's East (@ginoseast) February 27, 2017
According to public records, Coe, 59, is a registered sex offender, and he was jailed in October of 1994.
via Daily Mail:
It was a 25 years to life term, court records show, under the ‘three strikes and you’re out laws’ in force at the time which made a third felony an automatic life with a minimum of 25 years term.
The attempted rape could have been one of the felonies triggering the life term. It is unknown what the other conviction or convictions were but at least one was theft related, a legal source said. Coe appealed the sentence at the time on ‘technical and procedural grounds’ but the appeal was rejected in 1999 and he remained in Los Angeles County State Prison. He also petitioned the California Supreme court unsuccessfully that year.
Coe filed a second petition to have his theft conviction downgraded to a misdemeanor. The adjusted sentence appears to have triggered his release.
It is unclear whether the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences knew they were letting a registered sex offender, who was kissing the hands of multiple actresses, into the show.