- Isa Balado was delivering a live news report when a man approached her
- He touched her backside, prompting anger from her colleagues in the studio
This is the shocking moment a Spanish television journalist was accosted and sexually assaulted by a man today while she was reporting live from Madrid.
Isa Balado was delivering a report involving a local convenience store when the man approached her from the rear and grabbed her backside, footage shows.
Despite the interruption, Balado kept her composure and told the man to let her ‘do my job’. Despite her pleas, the stranger persisted and even brazenly touched her hair as he walked away, before coming back again to continue talking to her.
The man was later arrested by police, with Spain’s national force posting a video to social media that showed officers walking him into a police station.
Balado was reporting from Calle del Duque de Alba, a street that runs through the centre of Madrid, when the assault occurred.
This is the shocking moment a Spanish television journalist Isa Balado (left) was accosted and sexually assaulted by a man today while she was reporting live from Madrid
The man is seen in the live TV footage reaching in to touch reporter Isa Balado, who does her best to keep her composure and continue with her report
She was reporting about an incident which happened on Sunday in a shop that’s shown behind her in the clip. The news report was showing CCTV footage from inside the shop, with Balado describing the events over the top.
As she is talking to the camera for news station En Boca De Todos (On everyone’s lips), the man – wearing white shorts, a blue jacket and dark sunglasses – is seen coming up the street behind the reporter.
Without saying a word, he reaches behind Balado and touches her backside.
Visibly flustered, Balado tries to continue with her report, saying: ‘Sorry, one minute’ before telling the man: ‘We are live on TV.’
But presenter Nacho Abad, the anchor back in the studio, asks Balado: ‘Isa, sorry to interrupt you. The sound is really bad. Did he just touch your a**?’
The uncomfortable young reporter tells the presenter that the man did indeed touch her, and the camera adjusts to show both Balado and the man.
It appears that the man is asking her what television station she works for, prompting Balado to tell him: ‘As much as you want to know which TV station we are, do you really have to grope me? I’m working on a live report.’
Responding to the accusation, the man tells her: ‘I haven’t touched your a**.’
Isa Balado was delivering a report involving a local convenience store when the man (right) approached her from the rear and grabbed her behind, footage showed
Despite the interruption, Balado kept her composure and told the man to let her ‘do my job’. Despite her pleas, the stranger persisted and even touched her hair as he walked away, before coming back again to continue talking to her
‘Yes you did,’ Balado replies, as someone on the street suggests calling the police.
Balado again asks the man to leave her alone so she can continue her work, as Abad is heard calling the man ‘a complete imbecile’ in the studio.
‘I didn’t want to touch your a**. I respect you, you know, I wouldn’t touch your a**,’ the stranger says, again prompting the reporter to tell him to ‘let me work’.
As he begins to walk away, the man reaches in again, this time to touch Balado on her head. ‘Is this guy stupid or what?’ Abad is heard saying.
In a second clip, the presenter is heard speaking to his colleague over the broadcast, telling her: ‘Isa, I understand that for you this is an extremely uncomfortable moment, and [an] absolutely disgusting situation.’
Balado is seen back on the same street speaking to a woman about the incident, slightly further up from the store she had been standing in front of.
The woman next to her suggests his actions were ‘normal’ for that area of the city.
‘It’s not something about me, it’s happening to all the girls he is encountering. It’s very disgusting as I am trying to work,’ Balado says as the camera moves again and films the man bothering another person on the street.
‘As you can see, there he is. He is accompanied with another man wearing a hat. He probably doesn’t have anything to do all day,’ the reporter says, as the man again approaches her from behind.
Abad warns his colleague that he’s coming back, saying: ‘Isa, turn around, turn around, he is approaching you again. He is behind you, quick, turn around!’
The man again starts talking to Balado, and – perhaps realising he’s been caught red-handed on television – appears to be protesting his innocence and calling her baby.
‘I heard what you said earlier… Tell them the truth!’ he says. ‘What do you mean to tell the truth?’ Balado shoots back, before the presenter ends the broadcast.
In a second clip, Balado is seen speaking to a woman on the street who tells her the man’s behaviour is ‘normal’ for that part of the city
The man is again seen approaching the presenter from behind for a second time
The man again starts talking to Balado, and – perhaps realising he’s been caught red-handed on television – appears to be protesting his innocence and calling her baby
While the identity of the man is unknown, Spain’s national police released a short clip later on Tuesday afternoon showing the same man – in a blue jacket and white shorts – being led into a police station having been arrested.
‘Arrested for sexually assaulting a reporter while she was doing a live television show,’ the police force said in the Tweet.
Abad later revealed on air that it was the program that had taken action and called the police. ‘We have called them because they have to act. We hope to have the images of the arrest of this unpresentable person,’ he said.
Another reporter for the channel, Diego Losada, said: ‘Our colleague was doing her job and an individual, with a smile, touched her buttocks without her consent. The important thing is that this disgusting individual is now arrested.’
He also called for justice over the incident, and said: ‘We condemn all types of aggression and in this case it has hit us very closely, because attacking Isa is like attacking any of us. In a society that we want to be better this cannot happen and This feeling of impunity cannot exist.
‘This is a lack of respect and I hope that the full weight of the law falls on him.’
The shocking incident comes in the wake of a scandal surrounding the head of the Spanish football association, Luis Rubiales, that rocked Spain.
Rubiales announced on Sunday that he was stepping down from the position after he kissed player Jenni Hermoso in the aftermath of her country winning the Women’s World Cup in August, sparking outrage at home and abroad.
Today, Rubiales was ordered to give testimony to a Spanish judge investigating the kiss. Rubiales says she had consented to the kiss, but Hermoso has denied that.
Judge Francisco de Jorge ordered Rubiales to answer his questions on Friday at Spain’s National Court in Madrid, according to court documents seen by The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Spanish state prosecutors formally accused Rubiales last week of alleged sexual assault and an act of coercion when, according to Hermoso, he pressured her to speak out in his defense immediately after the scandal erupted.
Rubiales announced on Sunday that he was resigning from his post, from which he had already been provisionally suspended by FIFA.
While the identity of the man is unknown, Spain’s national police released a short clip (pictured) later on Tuesday afternoon showing the same man – in a blue jacket and white shorts – being led into a police station having been arrested
De Jorge is carrying out the preliminary investigation into the accusations against Rubiales, and will then decide whether the case should go to trial.
According to a sexual consent law passed in Spain last year, Rubiales could face a fine or a prison sentence of one to four years if found guilty of sexual assault.
The new law eliminated the difference between ‘sexual harassment’ and ‘sexual assault,’ sanctioning any non-consensual sexual act.
The incident has proven to be somewhat of a ‘Me Too’ movement in Spain, empowering many women to come forward with their own experiences, and has shone a spotlight on the issue of sexual assault.
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