A Georgia sheriff accused of groping the breast of respected former judge Glenda Hatchett has been charged with sexual battery. According to WSB-TV, prosecutors said the incident happened at a sheriff’s convention at the beginning of the year. And the man at the center of the controversy is former Bleckley County sheriff Kris Coody.
The alleged incident was witnessed by former DeKalb County sheriff Thomas Brown. And besides witnessing Coody’s alleged actions, Brown said he also had to physically step in. Brown added that memories of the alleged incident make him feel unsettled.
Brown said he invited Hatchett to the event, and the groping incident occurred while he was introducing the former judge to sheriffs. Brown said Coody groped Hatchett after he turned his head away from them while they were having a conversation.
“As I turned to my left to focus back on the two of them, I saw his hand go down on her left breast,” said Brown. “I grabbed his arm threw it off of her chest and basically said, ‘What are you (adjective) think you’re doing?’ and that’s basically where it ended.”
Brown said the alleged incident left him angry to the extent that his initial reaction was to take further action after throwing Coody’s hand off Hatchett’s chest. “She was there as my guest, so I was obviously upset,” Brown said. “Obviously mad. He was obviously intoxicated.”
Brown said Hatchett told him that the incident left her shocked. “After that, she had a rough time of it,” Brown told WSB-TV, adding that he subsequently led Hatchett out of the room and told Coody his piece of mind the following day.
Hatchett gave the green light to be identified as the victim because she wanted her experience to be shared. “She’s very passionate about telling her story at some point in time, if for no other reason, for the hundreds or ladies out there who may have been victims of some time of sexual assault, but have not said anything because they are afraid to do so,” Brown said.
In a statement after turning himself in, Coody said he takes the allegations that have been brought against him seriously, and he won’t flout the legal obligations imposed on him. And though he also said it won’t be right to get in touch with Hatchett, the accused former sheriff expressed his desire to personally apologize at the right time.
“I felt like I needed to say something, because the accusation is now out. It’s unsealed,” Brown said. “The judge had no problems with it being unsealed, because she’s a lot stronger now.”