The controversy over a Bachelorette contestant convicted of indecent assault and battery on a woman just one week before the new series of the show aired is threatening to overwhelm the long-running ABC favorite.
Contestant Lincoln Adim foiled background checks and lied to producers during pre-show screening, Warner Bros., the studio behind the reality-TV show, has claimed.
TMZ reported Wednesday that Adim was convicted just days before the show began of indecent assault and battery on a woman, having been arrested for an incident that involved inappropriately touching a woman aboard a harbor cruise ship back in May 2016.
He was sentenced to one year in a house of correction, with that term suspended for a two-year probationary period, according to cosmopolitan.com.
“The judge ordered him to stay away from the victim and attend three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week during those two years,” Cosmo quotes a law enforcement-official as saying, “If he complies with the judge’s orders, he will not have to serve out his term, but if he fails to comply with those orders or re-offends, he could be ordered to serve out the year behind bars.”
Warner Bros said in a statement, “No one on the Bachelorette production had any knowledge about the incident or charges when Lincoln Adim was cast, and he himself denied ever having engaged in or been charged with any sexual misconduct.”
The statement continues, “We employ a well-respected and highly experienced third party who has done thousands of background checks consistent with industry standards to do a nationwide background check in this case. The report we received did not reference any incident or charge relating to the recent conviction—or any other charges relating to sexual misconduct.”
“We are currently investigating why the report did not contain this information.”
He has not yet been eliminated by the Bachelorette herself, Becca Kufrin.
Officials said Adim’s conviction is matter of public record, making it astonishing it was not picked up by screening.
It is not the first controversy to hit the new series of the show. Contestant Garrett Yrigoyen came under fire for liking a series of offensive Instagram posts that mocked undocumented immigrants, the trans community, and liberal feminists, and spread misinformation about Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg.