A man has been charged after kissing Kentucky reporter Sara Rivest on live TV.
Eric Goodman, 42, was charged with harassment with physical contact, which is a class B misdemeanor, a spokesperson from the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department confirmed to the Daily News.
Rivest was reporting live for the NBC-affiliated station WAVE 3 last Friday when the man approached her and gave her an unwanted kiss near her cheek, as seen in a video she shared on social media.
Rivest was outside the Bourbon & Beyond festival in Louisville when the stranger pretended to smack her from behind and then kissed her, according to Rivest. She immediately pulled away from the man.
“Okay. That was not appropriate.” Rivest said on-air, giving an uncomfortable laugh. “Let’s just go to the story.”
Hey mister, here’s your 3 seconds of fame. How about you not touch me? Thanks!! pic.twitter.com/5O44fu4i7y
“Are you okay? Are you free from the kissing bandit? There’s a police officer behind you if you need him," a male anchor in the studio told Rivest after footage from the festival ran.
“I might need some help," Rivest said.
Although she laughed nervously when the incident happened, Rivest said in an interview with WAVE reporter Dawne Gee Monday that the situation made her uncomfortable.
“This is not okay,” Rivest said.
“I personally didn’t know how to react. I was shocked, but my nervous laughter does not equate to approval of his actions. It was an exertion of power over me — a woman trying to do her job who couldn’t stop him. This embarrassed me, and made me feel uncomfortable and powerless,” Rivest said.
Rivest said she was discussing her experience to bring to people’s attention that the incident was “a violation” and an “all-too-common occurrence."
“Journalists in the field — especially women, again just trying to do their jobs — experience harassment like this all the time and it is not okay. If you wanna act like an idiot behind me in a live shot, that’s your choice. In public places, you have the same right as me to be there. But when you put your hands on me, or anyone else, without their approval, that is wrong,” Rivest said.
“I wouldn’t come to anyone’s work place and harass them, and I just ask: Please let me do my job too.”
Goodman was identified and arrested following the incident. He has a court date on Nov. 6, according to WAVE.
He faces up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $250 if convicted, a spokesperson from the Louisville Police Department told The News.
Thursday, Rivest shared an apology letter Goodman wrote to her on WAVE.
“After watching the video, reading through the posts and listening to your explanation, I have found a new respect for how difficult it must to be a reporter, specifically in this type of environment. I was wrong to interrupt your job, invade your personal space and leave you feeling powerless. Regardless, your ability to maintain a professional composure speaks volume of your strength,” the letter said.
“I sincerely apologize and deeply regret my actions where I allowed immaturity to humiliate you, myself, and many others. While I have jeopardized my integrity, I am hopeful my future actions will validate the lessons I’ve learned from this mistake. I am so very sorry,” Goodman wrote.
Rivest said on-air on WAVE Thursday that she “absolutely” accepts Goodman’s apology, and that it seems he knows there are consequences for his actions.