Slater Rejects Plea Bargain in Groping Case

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Christian Slater (search) rejected a plea bargain deal from prosecutors Thursday on a charge of allegedly groping a woman.

Slater was charged with forcible touching — a misdemeanor that carries up to one year in jail — after he allegedly walked up behind a woman and grabbed her buttocks as she was buying a soda in a small grocery store on Manhattan's Upper East Side in the early morning of May 31.

"We believe this case warrants dismissal," said lawyer Eric Franz, in turning down a proposal that Slater perform three days of community service. Under the plea bargain offer, Slater would have pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree harassment in return for the community service.

The 35-year-old actor said nothing during the brief hearing before Criminal Court Judge Richard Weinberg. Afterward, outside the lower Manhattan courthouse, he complied with a fan's request to autograph the side of her T-shirt, near the hem.

Weinberg set a date of Aug. 19 for lawyers to file any motions in the case. Slater was ordered to return to court on Sept. 19, when the judge said he would rule on the motions.

Slater, whose movies include "Heathers," "Broken Arrow" and "True Romance," told reporters he was due in London at the end of September to rehearse for his role in the play "Sweet Bird of Youth."

According to authorities, Slater and his girlfriend were arguing at a bodega on Manhattan's Upper East Side at 1:50 a.m. The complainant, who has not been identified, was in the same store. She flagged down police, who located Slater a short distance away, authorities said.

Slater was sentenced to 90 days in jail for an August 1997 incident where he reportedly bit one man in the stomach and threw a police officer against a wall during a rowdy Los Angeles party.