Comic Andy Dick pleads not guilty to sex abuse charges

Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:41pm EDT
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CHARLESTON, West Virginia (Reuters) - Comedian Andy Dick pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges he sexually abused a security guard and another man at a West Virginia bar by grabbing their crotches.

The case marks the latest in a long string of legal entanglements for Dick, who was a regular cast member on the 1990s television comedy "NewsRadio" but has since struggled with substance abuse problems.

Dick pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual abuse before Cabell County Circuit Judge Paul Ferrell in Huntington, West Virginia, according to the local prosecutor's office.

He is accused of groping the two men at the Huntington bar in January 2010. The charge of sexual abuse carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

In 2008 Dick pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of battery and possession of marijuana stemming from an incident in which police said he pulled down the top of a 17-year-old girl in Southern California.

Dick, who sports curly blond hair and rectangular glasses, has had several other brushes with the law in recent years. He made a guest appearance earlier this year on the NBC comedy "Community."

(Reporting by Steven Adams, Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Steve Gorman)