Slater and his girlfriend were arguing at a small grocery store on Manhattan's Upper East Side early Tuesday, a prosecutor said in Manhattan criminal court. The actor was buying a soda when he allegedly walked up behind the woman and grabbed her buttocks.
The woman, who wasn't identified, flagged down police, said police spokesman Detective John Sweeney. Slater, 35, was found nearby and the woman identified him as the man who allegedly had groped her.
Slater was charged with third-degree sexual abuse. He didn't enter a plea when he appeared in court, chewing gum and wearing a blue shirt, jeans and a beige jacket. He was given a July 14 court date and left without speaking to reporters.
Assistant District Attorney Vanessa Puzio said Slater cursed at the arresting officer and said, "I didn't do anything. I'm suing you and the police department."
Slater, whose screen credits include "Heathers (search)," "Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (search)" and "Broken Arrow (search)," filed for divorce earlier this year from TV producer Ryan Haddon.
In 1998, he served 59 days in jail in La Verne, Calif., on battery and drug charges. Good behavior cut down his three-month sentence. He pleaded no contest to the charges in an August 1997 incident, when he binged on drugs and alcohol, beat his girlfriend during a brawl and assaulted a police officer.