Police in Madrid have arrested a man on suspicion of sexually assaulting a Spanish journalist while she was reporting liveon TV. Isa Balado, a reporter for Spanish broadcaster Cuatro, was reporting live on an armed robbery in Madrid Tuesday when a man walked up behind her and appeared to touch her bottom.
Balado tried to continue her live report but the news program’s host, Nacho Abad, interrupted and asked Balado if she had been assaulted by the man.
When Balado confirmed the incident, Abad asked her to put the “idiot” on camera, and the camera turned to put the man back in the shot.
The man was seen smiling before Balado confronted him, saying: “As much as you want to ask what channel we are from, do you really have to touch my bottom? I’m doing a live show and I’m working.”
The man denied touching her and after a brief exchange he walked away.
Spain’s National Police force said in a tweet Thursday that a man was arrestedTuesday for “sexually assaulting a reporter while she was doing a television live shot.” The post showed the man being escorted in handcuffs.
The incident drew widespread condemnation from Spanish officials.
Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz said in a social media post Tuesday that “Machismo is what causes journalists to have to suffer sexual assaults like this and why the aggressors are without any remorse in front of the camera.”
“It cannot go unpunished,” Diaz added.
Mediaset Espana, the parent company of Balado’s employer Cuatro, said it “categorically repudiates any form of harassment or aggression. We fully support Isa Balado, reporter for ‘En boca de todos’, after the absolutely intolerable situation she has suffered today.”
This incident came with Spain still reverberating from a weeks-long scandal overthe now-resigned president of the Spanish soccer federation, Luis Rubiales. Rubiales was accused of sexual assault after forcibly kissing national soccer team player Jenni Hermoso on the lips right after her team won the FIFA Women’s World Cup in August.
Rubiales is scheduled to testify Friday at the Spanish National High Court.
This latest scandal also comes after data revealeda spike in gender-based violence against women in the country, including 40 murders since the beginning of the year — almost half of them during the recent summer months.