Actor Robert Iler, who plays A.J. Soprano, the troubled teen-age son of Tony Soprano, on the hit HBO TV series The Sopranos, was indicted Friday on charges stemming from an alleged robbery of two other teen-agers in July, authorities told Reuters.
The 16-year-old Iler and two others were charged with robbery in the second degree, which could carry a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. Under New York law, 16-year-olds are charged and sentenced as adults.
Iler also was charged with marijuana possession, which carries a maximum fine of $100, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau told Reuters.
The indictment comes from the young actor's July 3 arrest after two teen-age tourists were allegedly robbed of $40 in Manhattan shortly before midnight. Iler and the other two defendants, Michael Cournede and Alban Selimaj, were pointed out by the alleged victims to the police.
In the criminal complaint, Iler and his friends threatened the teen-agers by saying, "Give us your money. Do you wanna die? Do you wanna die?"
The two teen-agers immediately flagged down the police and then caught up with the alleged robbers on a park bench several blocks away.
Iler has publicly expressed his regrets and is "terribly embarrassed" by his arrest and for causing his family undue stress over the situation.
David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos has been supportive towards Iler, taking Iler's word that he is innocent.
"If he says he didn't rob anybody, then he didn't. It's as simple as that for me," he stated in an earlier statement.
He and the co-defendants will be arraigned in State Supreme Court at an undisclosed date.