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Georgia Sheriff Resigns After Groping TV Judge’s Breast

Nearly two years after Sheriff Kris Coody of Georgia’s Bleckley County publicly groped television Judge Glenda Hatchett’s chest, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery in state court on August 21, 2023. Coody, 59, was then sentenced to 12 months of probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine, plus complete 40 hours community service and undergo an alcohol and drug evaluation. In a letter addressed to Gov. Brian Kemp (R) the same day, the Sheriff resigned from his second term, after first taking office in January 2017.

The incident unfolded at a state Sheriffs’ convention in January 2022, where Hatchett, 72—a presiding state judge who also stars in TV Shows Judge Hatchett and The Verdict With Judge Hatchett—was introduced to Coody by U.S. Marshal Thomas Brown. Testifying at Coody’s plea hearing, Brown recalled spying Coody’s hand rubbing Hatchett’s breast and said he intervened immediately, demanding to know what was going on.

At a post-­hearing news conference, Hatchett described her trauma as a “scar” Coody inflicted. “And I was angry,” Hatchett said, adding that she could not stop crying and needed therapy after the incident. The TV judge also called the 20-­month delay in the case intentional, accusing Coody and his attorney, Joel Pugh, of “manipulat[ing] the system so he could hold onto not only his salary but also his pension.” She criticized Kemp for not suspending Coody, too, though the governor said he could not suspend Coody because the crime happened off-­duty.

Pugh insisted that the former Sheriff “has a distinguished career in law enforcement.” But he added, “Unfortunately, that’s over, and I don’t know what he plans to do next.”  


Sources: CNN, WGXA

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