Dr. Thomas R. Frieden was a formerly well-respected doctor who oversaw the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Obama administration. On August 24, however, he was arrested for allegedly groping a woman in his apartment complex back in 2017.
Police first became aware of the incident in July. An unidentified 55-year-old woman reached out to the police department to file a complaint against Dr. Frieden. The victim alleged that the doctor had squeezed her buttocks while she was leaving a gathering at the perpetrator’s home. The act was unwelcomed by the victim, and she claimed that the doctor intentionally performed the act while their spouses were not looking. The victim and perpetrator have reportedly known each other for over 30 years. She was not an employee, and an investigation found no evidence of any workplace harassment from the former CDC director. The victim says she waited so long to come forward because she didn’t want to hurt anyone by revealing the crime.
Upon hearing about the allegations, Frieden willingly surrendered himself to the New York Police Department’s Special Victims Unit. He has been charged with sexual abuse, harassment and forcible touching. He has also been ordered by Judge Michael Yavinsky to not contact or be physically near the victim he is accused of groping. Judge Yavinsky additionally asked Frieden to surrender his passport. After agreeing to comply with these terms, Frieden was released with no bail. He will return to court on October 11.