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A New York City businessman was sentenced Tuesday to...

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. -- A New York City businessman was sentenced Tuesday to 30 days in jail for his guilty plea to charges he assaulted actress-model Melonie Haller, a former star of the 'Welcome Back Kotter' TV series.

Judge James N. White imposed the jail term in Suffolk County Court on Robert McKeage IV, 43, who pleaded guilty Jan. 26 in a plea bargaining process where he had expected to be placed on probation.

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But White said the probation report on McKeage called for a jail term and assistant district attorney Barry Feldman as well as the defense attorney, Walter Lesnevich, agreed. White granted McKeage until June 1 before surrendering for imprisonment so he could get his affairs in order.

He told McKeage, whom he placed on five years probation, to stay away from illegal drugs and hard drinking.

Miss Haller's mother, Myra Haller, called the sentence 'Very appalling.'

Mrs. Haller said McKeage should have gotten a three-year sentence with five years probation. She said her daughter told her by telephone from California, after the sentencing, that she was 'very upset' with the sentence, but wants to forget the incident, get back to work and 'put it behind her.'

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The 22-year-old Miss Haller, one of the first female 'sweathogs' in the the situation comedy, was assaulted while visiting the Southhampton mansion of of theatrical producer Roy Radin, 36, April 12-13, 1980.

After beating Miss Haller, McKeage told White on entering his guilty plea, that he placed her on a Manhattan-bound Long Island Rail Road train where she was discovered in a dazed state.

Feldman said McKeage's guilty plea would spare her from returning from her home in California to testify and he noted that Radin and McKeage are subjects of a civil damage suit she filed in U.S. District Court, Brooklyn.

In the civil suit Miss Haller charges McKeage beat her and Radin raped and assaulted her.

Radin pleaded guilty last October to possession of a .38 caliber revolver found in the mansion during a police investigation of Miss Haller's charges. He was fined $1,000 and placed on three years probation.

His fiancee, Toni Fillet, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of harassment and was freed without any penalty.

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