SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WHBL) - Former Mayor Bob Ryan continued to deny allegations that he groped a woman during a drunken binge in Elkhart Lake more than a year and a half ago, but said he pleaded to reduced charges in the case to put the matter behind him and his family. Ryan appeared before Judge Terrence Bourke on Wednesday and was fined $100 on each of two counts of disorderly conduct. A statement from the victim, which was read during the 20-minute hearing, indicated the incident has changed her life, but at least now the matter is closed and there is a small sense of justice. Defense Attorney Kirk Obear said the agreement fo reduce the charge from misdemeanor sexual assault to disorderly conduct came about because their investigating had revealed some discrepancies in statements made by witnesses about that night in July of 2011. Judge Bourke, in handing down the fine, called the incident outrageous, but he said Ryan has paid a price for his actions. He said the incident caused him and his family humiliation and resulted in Ryan's fall from power as mayor. Following the hearing, Ryan addressed reporters, saying he was loud and drunk that night but didn't assault anyone. He said he agreed to the plea to avoid a high profile trial and put the incident behind him and his family.
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