Vanessa Hudgens Pays $1K For Desecrating Red Rock In Sedona, Posting Pic On Social Media

In addition to the Instagram photo of the desecrated red rock, complete with the names of Vanessa Hudgens and her boyfriend, Hudgens also posted various other photos of the pair at the Sedona, Arizona tourist haven, putting the couple at the scene of the crime. When authorities were informed by Vanessa Hudgens’ concerned and outrage Instagram followers of the damage the 27-year-old star had done, the allegations were investigated and Hudgens was ultimately cited with a misdemeanor. The official charge? Damaging a natural feature on U.S. Forest Service land. The $1,000 restitution that Hudgens reportedly paid will be used to restore the damaged red rock. A group called Friends of the Forest, made up of volunteers, will do what they can to bring the damaged red rock back to its former, un-defaced glory by “erasing” Vanessa and Austin’s names. This is done through scrubbing or sanding the fragile red rock.
While the agreement between federal authorities in Arizona and Vanessa Hudgens was approved back on April 19, not surprisingly, Hudgens didn’t make it public herself, nor did the federal magistrate. Rather, The Associated Press did some digging and found the probable cause statement and final agreement between Hudgens and the feds via a records request. Vanessa Hudgens was contacted by media outlets on Friday, May 13, in regard to the charges and her agreement to pay $1,000 to settle the matter, but she declined to comment or release a statement as of this writing.
According to the probable cause statement, Vanessa Hudgens admitted to authorities that she had, in fact, defaced the protected natural feature. She reportedly said that she did the damage on federal land using a rock to scratch the graffiti into the face of the protected red rock. Hudgens also told Forest Service officials where to find the rock she’d defaced. Federal employees, along with volunteers, found the damaged rock, complete with the approximately one-square-foot carving, on February 23. It was located on a popular geological feature known as Bell Rock.

While Vanessa Hudgens got caught for her irresponsible and inconsiderate act of vandalizing the red rock wall in Sedona, Forest Service officials say that deliberate damage to the natural features is common and finding out who’s behind it is not. Vanessa Hudgens’ fame and bravado definitely worked against her in this case, said National Forest Service employee Brady Smith.

“She was caught in the act because she publicized it and she’s famous. I’m sure there are others who are not famous and publicized it and we’ve never known.”

All in all, though, Vanessa Hudgens may have gotten off lightly for her admitted crime against the national treasure. Smith said that marking up the red rock features are a two-fold problem that both destroy the natural beauty that draws visitors to the area and also create the illusion among visitors that it’s okay to desecrate the rock walls. Damaging a natural feature is a crime that’s punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and six months behind bars. Hudgens’ fine was only 20 percent of the maximum, and according to court documents, she skirted both jail time and community service. Friends of the Forest service president Jennifer Young says that tackling all of the vandalism in the Red Rock Ranger District is a big job.

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot that happens.”

Reportedly, 10 to 15 volunteers hit the area every other week armed with drills, sandpaper and wire brushes, seeking out and attempting to eliminate graffiti in the area.

What do you think about Hudgens’ actions and the repercussions? Was a $1,000 fine an appropriate punishment for her crime? Or, did Vanessa Hudgens get off too lightly because of her celebrity status?

[Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images]