A mall Santa in Massachusetts was arrested over the weekend after he allegedly groped the butt of his co-worker – and 18-year-old female photographer dressed as an elf.
Herbert Jones, a 62-year-old mall Santa in Hanover, Mass., allegedly pinched the buttocks of the 18-year-old victim as she was walking by his chair, according to a police report obtained by the Smoking Gun. The victim also said Jones told her, “I wish you were a few years older and I was younger.”
The young woman reported the incident to the manager of the Hanover Mall, who suggested that the elf speak to Santa, the records showed. When she confronted Jones about the incident, Santa was reportedly furious, yelling and saying, “I would never have done anything like that!”
The elf then said she felt uneasy and told the manager she would be quitting.
A woman who said she witnessed the incident said at the time she was “unsure if his hand actually made contact with her buttocks” but then the victim told her Santa “had ‘pinched her butt,’” and became uncomfortable working at the mall.
When officers spoke to Jones, the mall Santa denied the allegations, telling authorities, “I did not touch that girl.” When told about the claims, Jones told detectives that the victim “walked by” his chair “and brushed her buttocks against his hand.” He claimed he pulled his hand away and said he was unsure if his hand ever touched her.
When told about the comment about him being younger and the alleged victim a few years older, Jones said he meant “he wished he was young again so he could make different life choices and meant nothing else by it,” according to the papers. He claimed the elf photographer took his comment out of context.
Jones was arraigned Monday morning on indecent assault and battery charges and was freed on $1,000 bail, the Smoking Gun reported. A judge also ordered Jones not to dress up as Santa Claus for the holiday season and to stay away from the Hanover Mall.