Mall Santa Charged With Feeling Up Elf

Herbert Jones pleads not guilty to indecent assault, battery

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Nov 26, 2013 12:03 PM CST

(Newser) – It looks like Santa Claus may be on the naughty list this year: A man who played St. Nick at a Massachusetts mall has been barred from the shopping center after he was charged with groping an 18-year-old woman playing an elf. Herbert Jones was released on $1,000 bail after pleading not guilty yesterday to indecent assault and battery. A judge ordered him to stay away from the Hanover Mall and barred him from playing Santa anywhere pending the outcome of his case.

Police say the woman called them Saturday to report that the 62-year-old Jones had pinched her buttocks and made suggestive comments. The two worked at a Santa photo booth. Jones, who has a real bushy white beard, denied touching the woman to police and mall management. (HuffPo has more on Jones, including a photo.)

A stock photo of a jolly Santa that is not Herbert Jones.
A stock photo of a jolly Santa that is not Herbert Jones.   (Shutterstock)
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The woman told police the assault happened as she walked by Jones seated in the Santa chair, which Jones has denied. She told officers Jones also said he "wished he was younger."   (Newsy)

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