February 21, 2014 00:17:05 GMT
The 'Modern Family' star was asked to pose for a photograph by a male fan who then inappropriately touched her.
"Modern Family" star Sarah Hyland left an Australian event early after a fan groped her on the chest. The 23-year-old was attending a social function as part of the ABC show's cast members at a Sydney hotel on Thursday, February 20 night.
According to Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, a man asked her to pose for a photograph outside of the Sebel Pier One. Eyewitnesses said, Hyland pushed the man away and screamed, "Don't touch me there!" She became visibly emotional and teared up.
Private security guards immediately called the police. The 29-year-old man had been arrested and charged with indecent assault, New South Wales state police said in a statement. "It is alleged that the man indecently assaulted the 23-year-old woman at about 7:50 P.M.," a spokesperson for the police department told E! News.
The man in question was freed on bail but due to appear in a Sydney court on March 14. He is facing a potential maximum of five years in prison for his crime.
Hyland has addressed the incident on Twiter, saying, "Sorry to all the fans outside the #qantas event that I didn't get to say hi to but I had to leave due to an inappropriate touch of a fan." Her boyfriend Matt Prokop also took to his Twitter to slam the unnamed fan.
"To the a--hole who assaulted Sarah tonight I hope to God you don't see next week," he tweeted. "All Sarah wanted to do tonight was say hi to the girls who were waiting outside one douche can ruin it for everyone. Goodnight." He added, "Sorry for the 'offensive' tweet. But in the states we respect women."
The cast of the comedy series was also in Australia to shoot an episode this week.