LOS ANGELES — A former North Dakota college football player who was kicked off his team after kissing an older man is facing a charge of stalking billionaire David Geffen.
Jamie Ralph Kuntz, 21, was ordered Wednesday to return to Los Angeles Superior Court on charges that he repeatedly violated an order to stay away from the entertainment mogul.
Kuntz pleaded not guilty earlier this month and is being held on $150,000 bail.
Kuntz was kicked off the North Dakota State College of Sciences football team two years ago after kissing a 65-year-old boyfriend in the press box.
Kuntz says he lost his place as linebacker because he was gay, though the coach says he was removed for lying about the kiss.
Defense lawyer David Wohl said his client had a short-term physical relationship with Geffen that became a case of unrequited love. He disputed that Kuntz threatened Geffen or put him in fear for his safety, which is required to support a felony stalking charge.
The charges were filed after Kuntz pleaded guilty this fall to misdemeanor trespassing on Geffen’s property and was sentenced to four months in jail and three years of probation.
“He was on the wrong side of celebrity justice,” Wohl said. “That’s 120 more days than your average person gets for trespass. Consider who the alleged victim is.”
Geffen is one of the most powerful and wealthy men in Hollywood. He made his fortune as a record producer and co-founded DreamWorks Pictures with Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
After Kuntz served a fraction of the jail sentence, he was accused of violating a restraining order by going to Geffen’s homes in Beverly Hills, California, and Malibu, California, in early November, Wohl said.
Kuntz is due back in court Jan. 23 on a single felony stalking charge and five misdemeanor counts of violating a court order. Wohl expects him to either plead guilty to a lesser charge or have the charges dismissed at that time.
He could face up to four years in state prison if convicted of a felony for stalking.
Wohl described his client as a “good kid” and a “gentle soul” who had no desire to harm Geffen.