Sheen gets probation on protest arrest

Actor Martin Sheen was sentenced to probation and fined $500 on Wednesday after pleading guilty to a trespassing charge stemming from a protest at a U.S. Air Force base against the proposed "Star Wars" missile defense system, Reuters reports.

Sheen, who plays President Jeb Bartlett on NBC's West Wing White House drama, said he had to plead guilty because of work obligations but would still oppose "Star Wars." "I have a prior engagement with 'The West Wing,' another year on my contract, and I can't risk losing (at a trial) and going to prison for six months," Sheen told Reuters. "Morally, I'm bound to fulfill my contract. That was the whole motivation."

After Sheen pleaded guilty to one count of trespassing, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Johnson sentenced him to probation, fined him $500 and banned him going to Vandenberg Air Force Base without permission. Sheen was arrested along with a group of activists in October while demonstrating at the central California base.