Earlier this week, fans of the popular show Pawn Stars breathed a sigh of relief as it was announced Chumlee will not face jail time. The affable reality star went before a Clark County judge and accepted a plea deal. Best of all, it looks like Austin Lee Russell, Chumlee’s real name, will return to the popular History Channel show. He has three years of probation, along with counseling in exchange for making this nasty drama go away. He is returning to court on June 1 to finalize all of the details.
Yet, taking a deep dive into the details of Chumlee’s plea agreement may make fans of the show wonder what really went on with the reality star and question if we really know Chum.
On March 9, police searched the Las Vegas home of Chumlee in search of evidence for a sexual assault. It is believed that the woman in question was a coworker of Chum’s at the World Famous Gold and Silver Pawn Shop owned by Rick Harrison, patriarch of Pawn Stars. From this police search, there were 19 counts stemming from a dozen guns — only four were registered to Chumlee — an enormous stash of pot, some meth capsules, and Xanax bars. The police indicated that they believed that Chumlee had the equipment of a drug dealer, as he had a scale, baggies, and other paraphernalia. These were very serious charges that have seen many others facing long jail sentences.
This week, Chumlee’s attorney David Chesnoff advised that Austin Lee Russell, Chumlee’s real name, had pleaded guilty to the unlawful possession of a firearm, a felony weapons charge, and to a gross misdemeanor of attempted drug possession. Although police initially came to Chumlee’s home serving a warrant in a sexual assault case, there were no sexual assault charges made. Both sides determined and agreed that there was no basis for a sexual assault charge.
In return, Chumlee has three years of probation and must go through counseling. What is confusing about Chumlee’s plea deal is that he is to receive counseling, which in itself is not unusual. What is, as New York Daily News pointed out, is that the professional that Chum will work with specializes in sexual offenders, among other specialities. They were unable to reach the professional assigned to Chumlee to ask further questions.
On the website of the counselor listed on the plea deal, John Pacult, LCSW “offers a variety of assessment, counseling, consultation, training, and expert witness services and specializes in the area of sex offenders, along with defense mitigation work and competency evaluations.”
This does not mean that Chumlee has a sexual addiction, nor has he been charged with a sexual assault. This all may be coincidence. This professional may normally work with Chumlee’s team of attorneys or have an excellent reputation within Clark County. Nonetheless, his leading specialty offers a lot of speculation on what has not been publicly revealed about this case.
To further emphasize that this counselor works primarily with sex offenders is a single testimonial posted on the home page of this calling card style website. Pacult is given a recommendation from “Lisa S.,” who wrote about the quality of service from this professional.
“John – Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I have to tell you that your evaluation was actually better than most I have seen while I have been doing this job – 15plus years. I like the additional added information regarding sex addiction. As far as the evaluation, it was very thorough and I believe that it answered our questions. I have used at least one other evaluator for this in the past that I can think of off- hand – and I believe that your evaluation was comparable, but easier to understand from this point of view.”
In addition to the testimonial, there is a Las Vegas address for Pacult and contact information listing an email account using a very archaic form of email, AOL. This may not be usual in the world of counseling, where most professionals prefer to not post anything online or on email, instead work primarily in more traditional methods. There is no word how long Chumlee’s counseling will take place and again, the emphasis of the counseling.
Will Chumlee return to Pawn Stars? The Associated Press reported that there is no change was Chum’s status on the internationally popular History Channel show. Currently the show is on hiatus, which is something that Chumlee has also tweeted in a response to a question from a fan on his Twitter page.
Off right now but we will be back filming soon https://t.co/Fx4tdtBePb— Austin Russell (@chumlee_) May 10, 2016
Meanwhile, Chumlee has been active on social media since his recent court date. The Pawn Stars fave has not mentioned anything about his probation, nor his treatment, which could be for sexual addiction or assault. What he has answered are questions on who is his tattoo artist.
Chumlee has also retweeted some fan love. Over on Instagram, Chum posted an adorable selfie with his favorite girl.
Fans of the Pawn Stars goofball will definitely smile at this photo! All is well in Chum world.
What do you think of Chumlee’s plea deal? Does it raise some red flags?
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]