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'Avatar' actor Sam Worthington arraigned in NYC; accused of punching photographer

FILE - This March 26, 2012 file photo shows Australian actor Sam Worthington at the world premiere of

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FILE - This March 26, 2012 file photo shows Australian actor Sam Worthington at the world premiere of "Wrath of the Titans" in New York. Worthington has been arraigned in New York on counts including misdemeanor assault for allegedly punching a photographer, who also was charged in their encounter.The 37-year-old “Avatar” star was ordered on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, to stay away from photographer Sheng Li for six months. Worthington was released on his own recognizance. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Australian actor Sam Worthington has been arraigned in New York on counts including misdemeanour assault for allegedly punching a photographer, who also was charged in their encounter.

The 37-year-old "Avatar" star was ordered on Wednesday to stay away from photographer Sheng Li for six months. Worthington was released on his own recognizance.

Prosecutors say Worthington punched the photographer in the face in a scuffle Sunday in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. They say he told officers he was protecting his girlfriend.

Defence lawyer Stacey Richman told the judge photographers have relentlessly followed Worthington. Earlier, the actor had no comment when he entered Manhattan Criminal Court.

Li was arrested on reckless endangerment, assault and harassment charges. His lawyer says Li shouldn't have been arrested.

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