A popular TV judge who was groped by a Georgia sheriff says justice was served by his guilty plea, but the incident left her in a deep depression.
Bleckley County Sheriff Kris Coody pleaded guilty to groping Judge Glenda Hatchett. Channel 2 Action news was the only local station in court as the former sheriff was sentenced to one year of probation, 40 hours of community service and other conditions.
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Coody also sent a letter to Governor Brian Kemp and the Georgia Sheriff’s Association resigning, effective immediately.
“And he didn’t get first offender treatment, which I’m really happy about. So he will always have this on his record. Justice. Justice,” Hatchett said.
Hatchett spoke exclusively with Channel 2’s Karyn Greer after her morning in court, recalling in tears that night of the incident.
Coody grabbed Hatchett for the chest at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Bar while attending the Georgia Sheriffs Association winter meeting in January 2022.
“I was kind and said, ‘My family is from Georgia, Chip County, but I don’t know where Bleckley County is.’ And we sort of got that conversation going. And he poked me in the heart of Georgia. Right. And I didn’t take offense to that. But then he grabbed my chest. Grabbed my chest, squeezed my chest. And rub my chest,” Hatchett told Greer.
Then she said U.S. Marshal and former DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown forcibly removed Coody’s hand.
“I was amazed. I was. I was amazed. I was angry with myself for thinking, ‘Why didn’t I hit him? Why didn’t I kick him?’ But Karen, I was just at that moment. I was just frozen,” Hatchett said.
“So you filed a report right away?” Greer asked.
“I did. The next day. I did,” Hatchett said. “I thought, okay, I’m a strong woman. I’m a strong black woman. I can handle this. I got this.” This brought me to my knees I don’t know how else to describe it It’s just To feel so powerless And have no control over someone who would do something so horrific and humiliating to you How dare he do that to me How dare he treat me like this?
Hatchett says she is still in therapy and likely will be for the rest of her life. She says this was something that definitely changed her and her view of victims of assault and abuse.
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