Massachusetts readers may have heard news coverage of the recent arrest of a shopping mall Santa. The man has been accused of groping a young woman who was playing an elf and working with him at the mall. While the media has had a great deal of fun with this story, the charge of indecent assault and battery that this man now faces are anything but funny.
According to reports, the 62-year-old man was hired to play Santa Claus at a photo booth at Hanover Mall. The 18-year-old woman who made the accusations against him was hired to play an elf. She told mall management and the police that the man had pinched her buttocks and made multiple inappropriate comments. It is unclear whether these events were alleged to have taken place while the two were at work or in the presence of any witnesses.
As a result of these accusations, the man has been barred from entering the shopping mall. A judge in the case has also forbidden him to work at any other location playing Santa Claus until the matter has been resolved in court. These decisions will undoubtedly lead to a significant loss of income for the man, as the Christmas season offers a multitude of performance opportunities for Santa stand-ins.
The man has denied touching the young lady to both mall management and police. He will have his chance to present his side of the story to a Massachusetts court, as he defends against the indecent assault and battery charges against him. While the story may be the base of many jokes this holiday season, it is important to remember that many charges of this type are dropped before the matter goes to trial, and many more result in a verdict of not guilty. Regardless of whether you originate from Massachusetts or the North Pole, the law presumes that you are innocent until proven otherwise.
Source: thonline.com, Mall Santa charged with groping elf, No author, Nov. 26, 2013