Last week, we reported on the developing story of Thomas Callaway, a 43-year-old youth minister in Georgia, who was caught on tape smacking the butt of news reporter Alex Bozarjian on live television. This week, we report Callaway has been arrested for sexual battery in connection to the incident, which has been viewed 12.3 million times on Twitter.
To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me. No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better. https://t.co/PRLXkBY5hn— Alex Bozarjian (@wsavalexb) December 7, 2019
Once Bozarjian retweeted the above video, Callaway was swiftly identified. Bozarjian filed a complaint with the Savannah Police Department. Callaway went on Inside Edition to explain his side of nonconsensually groping the rear of a stranger. “It was an awful act and an awful mistake,” Callaway said. Then, he claimed he didn’t mean to touch her butt but was moving to raise his arms to wave and misjudged the distance. He insists he didn’t realize his hand had smacked and grabbed Bozarjian’s backside until he saw the tape.
Cool story, bro.
Here’s Bozarjian’s side of the story.
A reporter is sharing her story after she says she was assaulted during a live TV report. @WSAVAlexB was covering a fun run for her station when a man moved behind her and appeared to slap her on the backside.— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) December 10, 2019
She joins us now only on @CBSThisMorning. pic.twitter.com/GX9FgPLanK
AP reports Callaway was booked Friday afternoon. People reports the alleged sexual batterer who was caught on tape was released on $1,300 bond. He has made no further statements to the press, and his lawyer, W. Joseph Turner, declined to comment to AP or People.
However, Bozarjian’s attorney, Gloria Allred, offered a statement to the reporter’s home outlet WSAV-TV, which the reporter also tweeted. It reads:
Alex Bozarjian is glad that law enforcement is taking this matter seriously. She feels that a reporter should be able to do her job without being assaulted. Alex wants to thank the members of the public who have reached out to her to offer support. If this case goes to trial, she will be a witness. For that reason, she will have no further comment until the case concludes, but she does hope that there will be a just result.
Georgia defines the misdemeanor of sexual battery as “physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of another person without the consent of that person.” Callaway could face up to a year in prison.