Broadway star James Barbour is facing a two month jail sentence after he confessed to groping a 15-year-old girl in his dressing room.

The 41-year-old agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a minor in return for 60 days in jail.

Barbour admitted to Manhattan Superior Court on Thursday (03Jan07) that he lured a high school student back to his dressing room in 2001 after a teacher arranged for her and her parents to see him in a production of Jane Eyre.

The actor - who also played the Beast in Beauty and the Beast - revealed he touched the aspiring actress sexually. He then arranged for her to visit him at home, where he touched her again.

Barbour's lawyer Ronald P. Fischetti claims the girl - now 22 - initiated the contact, and has asked a court to allow him to publish ads, featuring the girl's name, asking men if she has filed false claims against them.

He told reporters, "She initiated both of these sexual encounters and then waited five years before filing a complaint against him."

Fischetti added that his client only pleaded guilty to avoid being added to the sex offenders' register.

He said, "By pleading guilty to misdemeanors, he doesn't have to register (as a sex offender), and that's important.

"He wouldn't have been able to travel without reporting, and he wouldn't have been able to work with children." (IG/WNWA/MT)

Copyright 2008 WENN

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