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

Henrietta Brewer
August 25, 2018

"He was arrested for forcible touching, for sexual abuse and harassment, for touching her buttocks without permission", a NY police spokeswoman said.

As CDC commissioner, he spearheaded efforts to curb the obesity and flu epidemics in the USA and oversaw the country's emergency response to the Ebola crisis.

WABC says Frieden surrendered to face charges that he grabbed the buttocks of a woman he knew in his home last October. From 2002 to 2009, he served as New York City's health and mental hygiene commissioner, where he supported programs to ban smoking in public places and remove unhealthy trans fats from restaurant meals.

Later in the day, Frieden was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court and released without bail.

A spokeswoman for Frieden told CNN, "This allegation does not reflect Dr. Frieden's public or private behavior or his values over a lifetime of service to improve health around the world".

It was not immediately clear whether Frieden had an attorney.

In the 1990s, he led a tuberculosis control program in NY that lowered the incidence of cases that were resident to multiple drug treatments.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the charity run by Facebook (FB.O) co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, said in a statement that the organization was "disturbed and saddened" by the charges. "In all of my experiences with him, there have never been any concerns or reports of inappropriate conduct".

In 1996, he began working in India with the World Health Organization on tuberculosis control.

Frieden's next court date was scheduled for October 11.

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

In 2009, President Barack Obama's administration picked Frieden to head the CDC.

Other reports by iNewsToday