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Guy Who Smacked Reporter's Butt on Live TV Faces the Music

Thomas Callaway pleads guilty to sexual battery, gets hit with $1K fine, year of probation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 2, 2020 8:45 AM CDT

(Newser) – A Georgia man who was seen slapping a female reporter's rear on live TV pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of sexual battery. Thomas Callaway, 44, was arrested and charged in December after he was caught on camera swatting the rear end of WSAV-TV reporter Alex Bozarjian as she was reporting live on a Savannah road race, per the AP. Callaway was running in the race and reached out to strike Bozarjian as he passed her. A video of the incident, which showed a stunned Bozarjian, was viewed millions of times on social media. Before his arrest last year, Callaway gave an on-camera apology and said he never intended to slap the reporter's rear. He said he was raising his arm trying to pat her on the back or the shoulder and didn't realize until seeing the video that he'd touched her buttocks.

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Under Georgia law, sexual battery is punishable by up a year in jail, but Callaway was sentenced to a year on probation and fined $1,000 after entering his plea, according to records filed in Chatham County Recorder's Court. The judge also ordered him to perform 200 hours of community service. "All I really hope is that, going forward in the future, he will do better," Bozarjian told WSAV-TV after court Tuesday, adding, "While I understand that this has probably disrupted his life more than he ever imagined, nobody has a right to touch anybody or slap anybody for their own amusement."

(Read more sexual battery stories.)

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