Wife defends groom’s ‘awful’ act at wedding
A groom accused of sexually assaulting a teenage waitress in a bathroom at his own wedding reception has copped a wrist-slap plea deal over the incident that spares him prison time.
Prosecutors agreed to drop charges of indecent assault, imprisonment of a minor and harassment against Matthew Aimers in the November 2018 incident at the a country club in Pennsylvania, US, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Instead, the 32-year-old New Jersey man pleaded guilty on Thursday to misdemeanour charges of simple assault, indecent exposure and disorderly conduct in exchange for six years' probation.
The deal was hammered out with consultation from the waitress, the newspaper said.
"The victim in this case was highly traumatised by what he did to her," Assistant District lawyer Megan Hunsicker said.
"His actions were inappropriate and unwarranted. This conviction will, I hope, provide her with a resolution that allows her life to move on."
Aimers' wife, Kayla, who walked into a courtroom while holding hands with him in April, remains by his side, his lawyer told The Intelligencer.
"He and his wife are as strong as ever, she remains his most dedicated supporter," lawyer Louis Busico told the newspaper. "He certainly married the right woman."
The fact that the couple is still together is proof that Aimers isn't guilty of the accusations he faces, Busico told a judge in April.
"If he committed a crime, not even Dr. Phil could keep them together," Busico said. "And the fact that they still are together shows that my client is an innocent man."
On social media, many have been surprised at Mrs Aimer's dedicated response to her new husband's act.
"This is awful. I'm sorry? I get supporting people you care about, but yikes," one wrote.
"What?! His attorney said she '150% supports him,'," another said.
"Oh geez. UNBELIEVABLE," someone else declared.
Aimers had been ready to go to trial as recently as last week, the lawyer said.
"However, once we obtained a guarantee of no incarceration, no felony conviction and no registration requirements, we opted to resolve the case so Matt could immediately move forward with his life," Busico told the newspaper.
Police said Aimers propositioned the teen waitress and "asked her to go outside and make out" during the wedding reception. Court documents show he even offered her $100 at one point, saying, "Can you kiss me like you mean it?"
After she rejected Aimers' advances, the groom allegedly followed her into a bathroom, where he sexually assaulted her and exposed himself, the teen told police.
The waitress managed to push Aimers away and flee, police said.
Aimers was arrested hours later when police responded to reports of a fight at a reception. Investigators said the groom had punched a country club employee who tried to stop him from taking alcohol outside.
This article originally appeared on The NY Post and was reproduced with permission