A mall Santa in Massachusetts is finding himself in a heap of trouble after allegedly pinching the buttocks of one of his helpers. Now, in a fit of irony, he'll be spending Christmas Eve in court.
Herbert G. Jones, 62, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure and battery on a person over the age of 14 in Hanover, Mass., on Saturday after an 18-year-old female "elf" working as a Christmas photographer for the mall told police he inappropriately pinched her.
The woman, who was reportedly in tears, told police that Jones also once told her that he wished he was younger and that she was older, WBZ-TV reported.
Cherry Hill Photo, the company that employs both individuals, released a statement following the incident, noting that the company is aware of the allegations and that Jones has denied the woman's claims.
"We have been made aware that an allegation of improper conduct has been lodged against the person portraying Santa at Hanover Mall by another employee working at the Santa photography concession," the release read.
The mall Santa told police that the woman had bumped into him and that he did not intentionally touch her, according to The Daily Mail.
Jones apparently went through a background check before being hired as a mall Santa and had no prior arrests or convictions, WBZ-TV reported.
One interesting note that hasn't been given much attention is that the police report, according to WCVB-TV, claims that the accuser was questioned about missing money at the Santa booth on the same day she made her allegations against Jones. While there may be no connection between the two situations, it's a fact worth noting.
All of these issues are currently under investigation.
According to The Boston Herald, Jones has been released on $1,000 bail and is due back in court on Christmas Eve. In the mean time, he will not be permitted to be a mall Santa while out on bail.
Featured image via Hanover Police Department