In this Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, file photo, Democratic Sen. Joe Haynes of Goodlettsville, Tenn., listens to a presentation in the Senate Finance Committee in Nashville. Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (AP) — A former Democratic Tennessee state senator has pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of sexual battery.

The Tennessean reports that Joe Haynes, a former Senate Democratic Caucus chairman who retired from the Legislature in 2012, entered his plea in Ashland City.

Haynes says he has faith in the judicial system. In the words of the 80-year-old former lawmaker from Goodlettsville: “I look forward to being vindicated.”

The charges were filed in May after a woman who had retained Haynes to represent her in legal matters related to her mother’s death alleged that he tried to kiss her and grabbed her buttocks.

A trial date has not yet been set.

Haynes was first elected to the Senate in 1982.

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