Comedian Andy Dick has pleaded not guilty in response to claims that he groped a rideshare driver last year.
Dick, 53, was accused of inappropriately touching his driver during an April 18, 2018 ride in West Hollywood, according to a release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Dick was charged with one misdemeanor count of sexual battery and arraigned Friday, the office states. Details regarding the alleged incident, including what rideshare service the driver worked for, were not included in the release. If convicted, Dick will face a maximum sentence of 180 days in county jail.
Dick’s attorney, Daniel Kapelovitz, denied the allegations on behalf of his client in a statement obtained by USA TODAY, calling the claims “completely baseless.”
“Our understanding was that the District Attorney realized that this case had no merit, and that is why the case was never filed,” he told the outlet on Friday. “Then, almost a year and a half later, we learn from TMZ that there was an outstanding warrant based on a misdemeanor complaint filed just prior to the statute of limitations running out. This case should be dismissed outright. If not, we look forward to fighting these false accusations.”
Kapelovitz confirmed to the outlet that Dick is scheduled to return to court for a pretrial hearing on Nov. 4.
Unnamed law enforcement sources have said that Dick is accused of reaching over and grabbing the driver’s crotch during the April 18 ride, TMZ reports. Following the incident, the driver reported what happened to the Los Angeles County Sheriff, and the district attorney’s office opted to pursue charges following an investigation by the sheriff’s office, according to the outlet; an arrest warrant was issued in March for Dick, and is still active.
Dick has been accused of groping others on numerous occasions throughout his career. Most recently, he made headlines when a New Orleans man punched him hard enough to send him to the hospital following a performance in August. The man, David Hale, admitted to hitting Dick, but said that he did so only after Dick grabbed his genitals and winked at him, Nola.com reports. Dale was arrested for battery and Dick, who was knocked unconscious from the hit, spent the day in the hospital for possible brain bleeding before being discharged, according to the outlet. His representatives denied the groping allegations.
Dick was previously charged with sexual battery last April after he was accused of groping a Los Angeles woman as she walked down the street, according to MSN.com. He pleaded no contest to lewd conduct and battery, and was sentenced in February to 15 days of community service, as well as a 36-month probation period, the outlet reports.
Dick’s history of alleged groping goes back even further; the actor and comedian, known for his role on the 1990s TV show “NewsRadio,” famously had to be escorted off the stage during a 2007 episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” after he repeatedly groped Ivanka Trump without her consent, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Dick shared a screenshot of that interview on Instagram in December 2017 and in the caption seemed to downplay his actions.
“The time I ‘groped’ Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, on Jimmy Kimmel Live,” he wrote. “Her legs were sparkling, and I was trying to see if the glitter would wipe off. I also mistakenly thought she would date me. I was jokingly carried off by security. Is anybody going to carry Trump off? No joke. Confusing times.”
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