Former California State Senator Leland Yee spent his years as a politician crusading against video game violence by trying to pass laws that bordered on censorship. This week, he pleaded guilty to a number of crime boss-sounding charges, solidifying that he might as well be a character in the video games he used to railed against.
Yee’s charges include racketeering, extortion, accepting bribes and conspiring to buy weapons illegally, which all stemmed from actions taken because of his bid to run for mayor of San Francisco and his plan to run for California Secretary of State. That’s right—these criminal activities were how he was going to win elected office, because San Francisco is Gotham City, apparently.
He pleaded guilty to racketeering charges (with the other charges dismissed as part of a deal), and faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000, with sentencing scheduled to take place on Oct. 21.
Yee once authored a bill in California that would have restricted the sale of any games the state deemed “violent,” but it was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011. That was the case that ruled that games count as art—legally speaking, at least—and fall under the protections of the First Amendment.
The fact that his efforts actually resulted in more protections for video games might well have been Yee’s catalyst for becoming essentially a Grand Theft Auto character or a small time Batman villain. What an origin story.