Since getting busted for burgling Audrina Patridge's house two years ago, Rachel Lee has had a lot of time to think.
And, according to Lee, she has since seen the error of her ways.
"I wanted to let you know that I am very sorry for what I did," the accused Bling Ring member wrote to L.A. Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler before he sentenced her to a maximum four years in prison for felony burglary. "I am sorry to the people I have hurt and for all the trouble I have caused."
So, what now? Besides sit in jail, that is?
"I have learned so much from this life journey," Lee continued. "The last two years of my life has changed me from an irresponsible and childish drug and alcohol addict towards becoming a responsible adult.... I was really messed up from so much substance abuse as well as poor choices of friends."
Lee was one of six people linked to a series of burglaries of celebrity homes, including those of Patridge, Orlando Bloom, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green, Ashley Tisdale and Rachel Bilson. The culprits made off with millions of dollars worth of jewelry, clothing, watches, electronics, firearms, etc., only some of which has been returned to the celebrity owners.
"Pretty Wild" star Alexis Neiers spent 30 days of a six-month sentence in jail for her role in the Bloom burglary, while the rest of Lee's alleged accomplices — Nicholas Prugo, Diana Tamaya, Courtney Leigh Ames and Roy Lopez Jr. — have pleaded not guilty and are due in court for a pretrial hearing Nov. 18.
Lee pleaded no contest to residential burglary, after which one felony count of conspiracy to commit burglary and two counts of receiving stolen property were dismissed.
"As I prepare to serve my time," Lee's letter to Fidler continues, "I am now planning what I can do during my jail term as far as education, training and service to our community so that I can come back to my family and society as a productive person. If possible, I would like to serve my time in a facility where I can receive education, counseling and job training."
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"Thank you very much for reading this letter," Lee concluded. "I hope to never stand before you in another case and I am going to work very hard to make that happen."
Fidler sentenced Lee to state prison and the type of rehabilitation opportunities offered depend on the facility where she ends up.
Her probation report, dated Oct. 25, stated that Lee had never before shown any remorse for her crime, nor did she return any stolen property to the police, hence a recommendation that Fidler give her the maximum sentence.
"Although the defendant is somewhat youthful and has a limited criminal history," the report states, "there are significant factors that support a recommendation for state prison; among them are her leadership in a sophisticated burglary ring that took property in excess of two million dollars and her refusal to cooperate with police detectives."
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