US health agency's ex-director charged with groping woman

Pearl Mccarthy
August 25, 2018

The president of Vital Strategies, Jose L. Castro, came out in support of Frieden.

He is accused of grabbing a woman's buttocks near Montague and Clinton streets in Brooklyn Heights in October of past year, sources said. He turned himself in to the NYPD on Friday and faces two misdemeanor charges of forcible touching and sexual abuse, as well as harassment, a violation, reports the Daily News. The unidentified woman reported the incident in July, and Frieden surrendered to authorities at the New York Police Department's Special Victims Unit in the borough Friday morning, law enforcement officials told ABC News.

The alleged assault occurred inside 180 Montague Brooklyn Heights. Frieden allegedly grabbed the woman without her consent as people were leaving.

Frieden issued a statement denying the allegations, according to the Associated Press, saying they do "not reflect" his "public or private behavior or his values;" the statement also highlighted his "lifetime of service to improve health around the world".

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Frieden was CDC director until January 2017, when he resigned as part of the turnover to President Donald Trump's administration.

There was no immediate information on an attorney who could comment on his behalf. As such, even though she is not an employee, earlier this month we conducted a thorough investigation by an external expert, which included an in-depth interview with every staff member on the Resolve to Save Lives team to determine whether there are any concerns about inappropriate behavior. In 2003, NY banned smoking in nearly all workplaces, a precedent-setting move that inspired other cities to do the same.

"Vital Strategies greatly values the work Dr. Frieden does to advance public health and he has my full confidence", Castro said.

An email sent to the place where it's believed Frieden works hasn't received a reply.

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