An attorney who practices in Mohave and La Paz counties has pleaded guilty to assault after a courtroom incident in Lake Havasu City.
Local lawyer Vincent A. Iannone, 61, is reported to have walked up behind a female colleague in the courtroom and bear hugged her, clasping his arms around her chest and holding them there. The judge was not present at the time, so court was not in session.
According to a police report, “Iannone placed both of his arms around her upper torso and clasped his hands together. […] Iannone made a ‘Grrr’ noise and shook her while he was hugging her. She was very uncomfortable and shocked with Iannone touching her this way and it embarrassed her. She does not feel that Iannone was touching her in a sexual manner, but more in a way to demean her and make her feel uncomfortable.”
A witness to the incident said they could tell the victim was upset about the incident, due to her facial expression and reaction. She reportedly left the courtroom in tears.
Iannone said he considered the relationship friendly, with much joking including one about his “advanced age” that directly preceded the hug. He said he was unaware that she was offended or upset about the incident, but pleaded guilty to assault and got probation.