Tom Wopat, one of the Dukes in the Dukes of Hazzard, the 1980s TV comedy about good ol’ boys eluding the law, was arraigned Thursday on charges he groped a female cast member of the stage musical he was supposed to open in later Thursday.
Wopat pleaded not guilty to indecent assault and battery and drug possession charges in Waltham, Mass., west of Boston, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office. He was released on $1,000 bail and told to stay away from the woman.
He refused to comment outside court, according to the Associated Press.
The Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham announced on its website that its production of the Tony Award-winning backstage musical 42nd Street would open with a different actor playing Wopat’s role of Broadway producer Julian Marsh.
According to a statement from the Waltham Police Department, Wopat, 65, was arrested in his car late Wednesday. The warrant involved a charge of “indecent assault and battery on a person over 14.”
The police statement said “two bags of white powder believed to be cocaine” were found in the car so a drugs possession charge was added.
Wopat inappropriately touched the woman on July 23, prosecutors alleged in a statement. “During a rehearsal the defendant allegedly walked behind a female cast member, grabbing her buttocks,” the statement said. Wopat was arrested without incident as he was leaving a local high school where he was rehearsing for the show.
Wopat, married to his second wife, Kathy, has worked steadily since Dukes on TV, on stage and in music.
Source: USA Today