Victor Ronald Salva (born March 29, 1958) is an American film director and screenwriter, best known for directing horrors films like Jeepers Creepers and Clownhouse. He is particularly controversial for his history of sexual abuse, from which surprisingly he has managed to get away and keep his career active even with the rise of the #MeToo movement.
He sexually assaulted the 12 years old child actor Nathan Forrest Winters while filming his directorial debut Clownhouse. Winters recalls that Salva groomed him since he was six after he befriended his mum, who made film props. You heard that, he gained the trust of his child actor's parents and betrayed their friendship to sexually abuse their son. He also prevented Nathan's mother from accompanying her son to the film set just to not "distract" him. When Nathan's parents became aware of what Victor was doing to him, they called the police, and Victor was sentenced to three years in prison but served just fifteen months thanks to the lawyer who defended him.
And as shocking as it sounds, because Winters told the truth, he was blackballed from working in the film industry ever again. He then tried to boycott Powder by saying that people were going to send money to a child molester's pocket, but the film still managed to be a financial success.
He had child pornography magazines at his home and he videotaped too his abuse towards Nathan Winters.
He has somehow managed to get away with his past actions and keeps getting jobs even after the rise of the #MeToo movement due to Harvey Weinstein's actions, having made eight films since his release from prison. Even Netflix released Jeepers Creepers 3 despite that they fired Kevin Spacey for sexually abusing children in the past.
And even after sexually abusing Nathan Winters, Salva is defended by other people from the film industry. His mentor Francis Ford Coppola, who financed Clownhouse and produced the Jeepers Creepers films, insisted that he deserved a second chance for serving his punishment at the prison. Salva was also hypocritically defended by an actress Rose McGowan, who worked with him in Rosewood Lane despite her hatred towards Weinstein and other sexual offenders.
He even seems to make a reference to his past actions in Jeepers Creepers 3. In one scene, two characters talk about a 13 years old girl named Addison who ran away from her sexually abusive stepfather, and one of them defends the stepfather's actions by saying "Can you blame the step-dad, though? I mean, look at her. The heart wants what it wants, am I right?". Extremely disgusting.
He has directed and written many bad movies like Nature of the Best, Powder and Rosewood Lane.
He was often beaten up by his stepfather and was disowned by him and his mother when he came out as gay at 18 years old. While this doesn't excuse his actions in any way, this indicates that his early life was somewhat hard and he may have had problems with his sexuality since then.
He stated while promoting Peaceful Warrior that he actually regrets his past actions and will spend the rest of his life making up for it, though it's unknown whether he is really sorry for what he did.