Actor Christian Slater has appeared in a New York court, charged with sexual harassment and forcible touching.

The actor was arrested in the early hours of yesterday after allegedly groping a woman, whom he did not know, on a Manhattan street.

Prosecutor Vanessa Puzio told Manhattan Criminal Court that Slater walked up behind the alleged victim and grabbed and squeezed her buttocks. The woman then flagged down police to report the incident.

Slater, who is currently starring in 'The Glass Menagerie' on Broadway, was charged with third degree sexual abuse and ordered to return to court on 14 July.

The misdemeanor sexual abuse charge carries a possible three-month jail term, and the charge of forcible touching carries a potential jail sentence of one year.