Rebecca Grossman, a wealthy California socialite and philanthropist, was sentenced Monday to 15 years to life in prison for the deaths of two young brothers in a Los Angeles crosswalk in 2020.

Grossman, 60, was convicted by a jury in February on two counts of murder, vehicular manslaughter and gross negligence in the deaths of Mark Iskander, 11, and Jacob Iskander, 8, and an additional count of hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Prosecutors had pushed for the maximum sentence of 34 years to life. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon on Monday said he was “deeply disappointed with the outcome.” Grossman was ordered to pay $47,161.89 in restitution to the victims’ family.

Grossman, who founded the Grossman Burn Foundation with her husband, Peter, a prominent Los Angeles plastic surgeon and burn doctor, maintained throughout the trial and sentencing that she did not see the two boys, who were crossing the street with their parents in a marked crosswalk.

Police alleged in a statement at the time that she was driving at “excessive speeds” through Westlake Village. She continued driving after the crash, they said, eventually stopping about a quarter-mile away.

“This individual showed a complete disregard for the lives and safety of others in our community through her reckless actions, which ultimately shattered a family and robbed two children of their bright futures,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Chief Allen Castellano said Monday.

In a presentencing memo, prosecutors had argued for the maximum sentence, accusing Grossman of displaying a “narcissistic superiority” and saying she had neither shown remorse nor accepted responsibility for the crash.

“She has lived a life of privilege and clearly felt that her wealth and notoriety would buy her freedom,” they wrote.


In a letter to the boys’ parents, appended as an exhibit in the prosecution’s sentencing motion, Grossman wrote: “I am so sorry that I was portrayed as a monster to you. I will always remember this life-altering second of my life for the remainder of my life. Every day. I still have nightmares.” She said her previous efforts to express remorse had been “redacted.”

Grossman’s attorney, James Spertus, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

At the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that the data recorder in Grossman’s Mercedes SUV showed she accelerated to 81 miles per hour just seconds before the crash, with her foot pressed to the floor. The speed limit in the residential neighbourhood was 45 mph.

Investigator Michael Hale testified that her SUV struck the boys with the equivalent force of the vehicle being dropped on them from a 12-story height.

Grossman had no previous convictions, but the prosecution sentencing memo noted a number of driving offences, including speeding offences, dating to the early 2000s.

During the trial, it was alleged that she drank at least two margaritas and took Valium earlier that day, and experts testified that her mental capacity and physical reactions were probably impaired.

Multiple witnesses testified that she drove erratically and at excessive speeds before the crash, including allegedly swerving into the bicycle lane in an attempt to pass a car.

She appeared to be playing “a deadly game of chase” with Scott Erickson, the driver of a black Mercedes and her boyfriend at the time, the prosecution said.

“The loss of these two innocent lives has devastated their family and our community. Ms. Grossman’s blatant disregard for human life is a stark reminder of the grave consequences of irresponsible behaviour behind the wheel,” Gascon said in a statement.