Ho! Ho! Hold on! Massachusetts mall Santa charged with groping coworker

BOSTON (Reuters) - A man who worked as a Santa Claus in a Massachusetts shopping mall has been ordered not to put the red suit back on until a court resolves a charge that he groped an adult coworker over the weekend.

The man, Herbert Jones, 62, was arrested on Saturday and charged with one count of indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14, Russ Eonas, a spokesman for the Plymouth County district attorney's office, said on Tuesday.

The prosecutor's office declined to comment on reports that the co-worker wore an elf costume as part of the job.

Jones pleaded not guilty and was released on $1,000 bail. A judge ordered him to stay away from the Hanover Mall, where he had worked, and not to seek work as a mall Santa until the charges are resolved.

Jones is due back in court on December 24, Christmas Eve.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Maureen Bavdek)