Lochte 'Dancing' protesters facing criminal charges

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The two men who rushed the stage of "Dancing with the Stars" to protest Ryan Lochte have now been criminally charged, the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office announced.

Sam Sotoodeh, 59, and Barzeen Soroudi, 26, are charged with leaving a spectator area and entering a stage, as well as interfering with a performance.

Both charges are misdemeanors which could carry a maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The two men got on stage during a Sept. 12 taping of the show wearing anti-Lochte T-shirts before they were intercepted by security. Audiences at home did not see the interruption during the broadcast, although the footage was later released publicly.

Satoodeh told ABC they wanted to "get the message out that Lochte is a coward, a liar and, under Brazilian law, a criminal."

Lochte and other Olympic teammates faced criticism after they were caught lying about a drunken encounter at the Rio Olympics, after which they falsely claimed to have been robbed at gunpoint.

Arraignment for the two protesters is scheduled for Oct. 4.
Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.