Prosecutors have charged the former publisher of the Manteca Bulletin, Turlock Journal, Ceres Courier and Oakdale Leader with misdemeanor sexual battery.
The complaint against Paul Mahony, 54, was filed Monday in San Joaquin County Superior Court. It accuses him of fondling a 43-year-old woman Feb. 5.
Mahony was fired Feb. 10 after three years as the newspapers' publisher. Several Bulletin employees filed complaints with police about Mahony, although the newspaper has not disclosed the nature of those complaints.
Mahony faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail, if convicted.
He has not been arrested but must appear in court to face the charge March 9. A message left for Mahony on Wednesday was not returned.