Outrage in Spain as man arrested for sexually assaulting reporter during live broadcast

A man has since been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault. Credit: X / Policía Nacional

A man has sparked national condemnation in Spain after appearing to assault a female broadcast journalist while she was in the middle of a live television report.

Spanish police have since arrested a man, who touched the bottom of Cuatro reporter Isa Balado, on suspicion of sexual assault.

He was released from custody pending further investigation on Wednesday.

Politicians in the country have demanded justice, with one saying the act "can't go unpunished".

Ms Balado herself described the incident as "very unpleasant", while her Cuatro colleagues have criticised the decision by police to release the suspect.

On Tuesday, Ms Balado was in the middle of a live broadcast on the streets of Madrid when a man approached her from behind.

He appeared to touch Ms Balado on her bottom as she was talking with the programme's presenter, Nacho Abad, via video link.

Mr Abad asked his colleague if she had indeed been touched on her bottom, to which she said she had.

The female presenter can then be seen telling the man: "Do you really need to touch my bum?"

"I'd like you to let me work," she added.

The man continued to talk to her, before reaching his hand out to rub her head and then walking away.

A number of politicians in Spain have offered their support to Ms Balado, following the incident, including the country's Labour Minister, Yolanda Díaz.

"Machismo means that journalists suffer sexual assaults like this and that the aggressors appear in front of the camera unrepentantly," she wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Spain's Equality Minister, Irene Montero, also spoke in favour of Ms Balado, saying: "Non-consensual touching is sexual violence. Only yes means yes."

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