Georgia runner seen slapping reporter's bottom on live TV pleads guilty to sexual battery

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A Georgia man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of sexual battery Tuesday stemming from a video last year that showed him slapping a female reporter’s bottom during a road race in Savannah.

Thomas Callaway, 44, apologized on camera before his arrest in December, saying he had meant to pat her on the back or the shoulder as he ran by and never meant to touch her bottom. He said he didn’t realize what he had done until he saw the video that circulated widely on social media.

“I got caught up in the moment,” he said in December. “I was getting ready to bring my hands up and wave to the camera to the audience, there was a misjudge in character and decision-making.”

"All I really hope is that going forward in the future, he will do better,” the reporter, WSAV-TV's Alex Bozarjian, said Tuesday. “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.”

Callaway was sentenced to a year on probation and fined $1,000, according to records filed in Chatham County Recorder's Court.

The judge also ordered him to perform 200 hours of community service. He could have faced up to a year in jail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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