"I extend my sincere apology to both ladies for misperceptions that may have occurred from the photographs which were published and my interview," Nix said in a statement issued through his attorney, former Superior Court Judge Tom Cauthorn. "... I regret in a previous interview with a reporter it has been perceived by many people as an attempt to place blame on Ms. (Susan) Treadaway and Ms. (Glenda) Roberts for the events which eventually led to my decision to retire a few months earlier than I had intended."
Nix, 70, in an emotional interview Tuesday with the Journal, admitted that he "flicked" the women's bottoms after they got up from sitting on his lap during a photo taken Aug. 4 by his staff. The incident, which was followed by rumors of a complaint being filed, prompted the judge to tender his resignation, effective Oct. 4.
When the Journal broke the story on Wednesday - accompanied with the photos Nix supplied of the women with the chief judge - it triggered a media storm and hundreds of comments, many negative, about Roberts, a deputy investigator with the district attorney's office, and Treadaway, an assistant DA.
Many bloggers have questioned why the two women would put their arms around him and sit in his lap in the first place.
To which Nix said in the Friday statement: "Over the years a number of female attorneys have posed for pictures of them sitting on my knee at Christmas time, while I was dressed in my Santa Claus outfit. Ms. Treadaway and Ms. Roberts were invited to pose for a similar innocent photograph."
Though the women emphatically deny filing any complaints, Nix said Tuesday he was told someone had - possibly District Attorney Pat Head. But Head also denies filing anything with the Judicial Qualifications Commission, the body that investigates charges of wrongdoing against judges, and Nix has since told the Journal, "I don't believe there has been a complaint filed with the JQC."
Which begs the question: would any of this been made public had Nix not said anything?
The women said in a statement they didn't file a complaint "because we both know that in sex crimes the perpetrator becomes the victim and the victim becomes the target. That is exactly what has happened in this case."
Head said it is possible a staff member in Nix's office who witnessed the act might have told someone, who in turn told the JQC, but that is merely speculation.
Nevertheless, once the episode was exposed, the women issued a statement through Head and called what Nix did a crime, and said more happened than what was reported, though they do not wish to elaborate.
The women admit in a statement that they used "poor judgment" when they decided to sit on the judge's lap for the photo. However, they say, "it should not overshadow the fact that there was a crime committed against both of us and he has admitted that."
Head said if someone touches another person's genitals, breast of buttocks, without their consent, it is sexual battery, a misdemeanor. Solicitor General Barry Morgan, who prosecutes misdemeanors, said Thursday: "If somebody makes a complaint, we'll request another agency - Cobb Police, Marietta Police or Sheriff - to investigate. If they found evidence of a crime, we would prosecute and let the chips fall where they may."
Head, on Thursday, told the Journal how he learned about what happened on Aug. 4.
He said he was leaving his office that day and ran into Roberts and Treadaway on the sidewalk minutes after they left Nix's office.
"They said, 'you're just not going to believe what just happened,'" Head said. "And so they told me and I said, well, you know, we need to do something about that. And they said, 'no, we don't want to, please, don't do anything, don't tell anybody, we're not going to get in that, we're not even going to talk about it anymore. And, in fact, if you had come in tomorrow, we probably wouldn't have told you at all. But right now, you just caught us right after it happened, so yes, we're telling you.'"
Nix told the Journal Tuesday night before the story broke, regarding the incident, "If the ladies took it as offensive, then I apologize to them...I flicked them both on the fanny. That was a stupid, stupid mistake."