Photog Pleads Innocent in Witherspoon Case

Photog Pleads Innocent in Witherspoon Case
Paul Mounce/Corbis

10/13/2005 AT 08:00 AM EDT

A photographer accused of using aggressive tactics – including striking a 5-year-old girl – as he tried to snap pictures of Reese Witherspoon and her children at Disney's California Adventure pleaded not guilty to six misdemeanor charges in an Orange County, Calif., courtroom Wednesday.

Todd Wallace, 44, faces four counts of battery, one count of false imprisonment and causing and permitting any child to suffer, and one count of inflicting unjustifiable mental suffering, reports the Associated Press.

If convicted of all counts, Wallace faces up to 3 1/2 years behind bars. He remains free on his own recognizance yet was ordered to stay at least 300 yards away from the Just Like Heaven actress. His next court date is Oct. 28.

Wallace allegedly became verbally and physically abusive when Witherspoon and her friends declined to be photographed at a Sept. 2 birthday party for the actress's 6-year-old daughter at the Southern California theme park, which is adjacent to the original Disneyland.

Police said Wallace took photos from a distance, but when he drew near he became aggressive and scared some of the people, including some children, who were in tears. He also allegedly shoved park employees, a police spokesman said.

Outside the courtroom on Wednesday, Wallace said he has photos and video footage to prove his innocence.

In 1993 Wallace was convicted of second-degree burglary and receiving goods by fraud, and he served more than four years in prison, according to state department of corrections' records obtained by AP.

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