An Apple Valley, CA man has been charged with stashing away a 1968 Heisman Trophy that was stolen from the University of Southern California more than 20 years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
O.J. Simpson won the award that year but the stolen trophy was a duplicate given annually to the winning player’s school.
Lewis Eugene Starks Jr., 56, wasn’t accused of stealing the trophy, but is facing one count of receiving stolen property. He pleaded not guilty Wednesday afternoon. No other arrests have been made in the case.
Starks is accused of being in possession of the university’s copy of the trophy and the plaque, knowing that it had been stolen.
Prosecutors added Starks allegedly attempted to sell the items late last year. He was arrested Monday.
Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $70,000. The criminal complaint also notes that Starks has a prior burglary conviction.
If convicted as charged, Starks faces up to six years in state prison.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Art Theft Detail.
Simpson is in a Nevada prison for robbing two memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room several years ago. His personal trophy was sold at auction in 1999 for $230,000.