LOUISVILLE, Ky. (NBC News) – A Kentucky television reporter who was caught off guard when a stranger kissed her on the cheek during a live shot has a strong message for the man and her viewers: “This is not OK.”
Sara Rivest was reporting for NBC affiliate WAVE 3 in Louisville about the Bourbon and Beyond festival last Friday when three men started making a commotion around her. A man in a black shirt and sunglasses pauses in her shot, then two men in red shirts pass in front of her and behind her. She gets briefly distracted but maintains her composure while detailing the festival’s new location.
She is midsentence when the man in the black shirt returns and plants a kiss on her cheek. “It’s allowing people to focus on the fun, on the music, on the bour … O-o-o-kay,” she reacts while pulling away.
Rivest later reported the incident to police, and the man has since been identified as Eric Goodman, Lousiville Metro Police said.
“I was shocked, but my nervous laughter does not equate to approval of his actions,” Rivest said. “It was an exertion of power over me, a woman — trying to do her job — who couldn’t stop him. This embarrassed me, and it made me feel uncomfortable and powerless.”
The 42-year-old was charged with harassment with physical contact, a misdemeanor, WAVE reports. Goodman wrote an apology letter to Rivest.
“I was wrong to interrupt your job, invade your personal space and leave you feeling powerless,” the letter shared on WAVE’s website reads.
Rivest said she accepts the apology and appreciates his feelings have changed since hearing how the incident impacted her.
“Actions, though, have consequences and from that letter it seems like he, too, knows that he needs to face those consequences, so I also agree with the Commonwealth’s decision to charge him,” she added.
Goodman is scheduled to appear in court in November.