Tom Wopat, the former star of "The Dukes of Hazzard," the 1980s TV sitcom about good ol' boys eluding the law, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of "annoying and accosting a person of the opposite sex" and was sentenced to one year of probation.
The plea allowed him to avoid jail time on allegations he groped two female cast members in a theater musical he was set to star in, in Waltham, Massachusetts, last fall.
The Middlesex County district attorney's office announced Friday that after pleading to a two counts of annoying and accosting, Wopat was sentenced to one year of probation with conditions that he have no contact with the accuser and continue to undergo counseling.
Wopat, 66, also admitted that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of the charge of possession of a Class B substance, cocaine. The court withheld finding him guilty and postponed the case for one year as long as Wopat adheres to probation conditions imposed by the court.
He also was placed on pre-trial probation for one year in connection with the two original charges of indecent assault and battery.
Wopat was arrested in August 2017 as he was leaving Waltham High School, where he was rehearsing “42nd Street," set to open the following night. He was accused of "inappropriately touching" an adult female cast member during rehearsals for the musical.
Police said they found a plastic bag containing cocaine in the defendant’s pocket when he was arrested. Wopat was arraigned the next day on charges of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 and possession of a Class B substance. He pleaded not guilty.
The theater then announced a different actor would take over Wopat's starring role in the musical, and Wopat was dropped from the production.
Wopat issued a statement to USA TODAY in which he "firmly" denied he groped anyone, and vowed to address his substance-abuse issues. He said he hoped to clear his name "concerning recent unfortunate events."
After the initial charges were filed, police said a 16-year-old female cast member also accused Wopat of indecent assault. A police report said Wopat allegedly hit the girl’s buttocks with his script, saying, “nice butt,” during rehearsals for the show at Reagle Music Theater in Waltham.
Subsequently, charges of indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14, along with two counts of accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex, were added. He was arraigned on those charges in November 17, 2017, and again pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.
Wopat's spokesman, Dan Fortune, did not return a message from USA TODAY seeking comment.