CRIME

Greg Gianforte, Montana lawmaker, sentenced after body slamming reporter

Montana Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault on Monday for body slamming a reporter last month. 

Gianforte, who did not fight the charges, was sentenced to community service and fined $385 for assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs the day before his election.

Under the terms of his plea, the polician is also required to undergo anger management classes. 

Gianforte faced up to six months in jail for assaulting the newpaper reporter after Jacobs asked him about a Republican healthcare bill. But the judge said Gianforte took responsibility for his actions and felt the lawmaker should not go to jail. 

"My intent is for you to grow," said judge Rick West. "My intent was not for you to sit in jail."

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Gianforte has said his behavior was "unprofessional, unacceptable and unlawful."

The incident was captured on audio tape. Initially, Gianforte said the reporter initiated the fight, but the politician recanted hours after Fox News reporter Alicia Acuna, who witnessed the incident, described what she saw.

He then apologized for his actions.

“I made a mistake and I took an action that I can’t take back and I'm not proud of what happened,” Gianforte said. “I should not have responded in the way that I did and for that I'm sorry.”

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Jacobs has accepted the apology and has agreed not to sue the wealthy Republican.