Editor’s Note: This story contains disturbing content.
Bleckley County Sheriff Kris Coody has been sentenced to 12 months probation and must pay a $500 fine. He has also been ordered to complete community service and undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation, his lawyer Joel Pugh told CNN.
During a news conference Monday, the former chief presiding judge in Georgia and the star of TV shows Judge Hatchett and The Verdict With Judge Hatchett thanked her legal team while also recounting the incident.
The 72-year-old Atlanta native said that she was at a reception when the sheriff approached her “uninvited.” He then poked her in the chest and told her Bleckley County was “right in the heart of Georgia” after acknowledging she didn’t know where the county was, Hatchett recalled.
“But then he grabbed my breast. He grabbed my left breast. He squeezed it, he then started rubbing on my breast,” she said. She added that it took for someone to remove Coody’s hand and push him away before he stopped.
“I grabbed his arm threw it off of her chest,” Brown said.
“I am a very strong woman, I pride myself on being strong and I really thought I was fine,” Hatchett said.
But she remembers she “could not stop crying” in the days that followed the incident. She could not get out of bed and had to seek therapy, Hatchett added.
“I needed help. My life had been changed. And as I said to the judge in the court this morning that I never expected that I would be so deeply affected by this,” she said. “I cried and cried and cried in court.”
She continued: “There is a scar that he left and what I really resent is that someone could have that kind of power over me. That somebody could make me, in that moment, feel helpless. I’ve never felt so helpless in my entire life. And I was angry. I was absolutely frozen.”
On Monday, Coody resigned, according to a letter addressed to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
“He is taking full responsibility for his actions. He regrets them and he thought it was the correct thing to do,” Pugh said. “He has a distinguished career in law enforcement. Unfortunately, that’s over and I don’t know what he plans to do next.”