Former CDC Director Tom Frieden, who was arrested Friday on the basis of an alleged incident where he forcibly touched a woman in his Brooklyn home in October 2017, says that the accusation "does not reflect" who he is, according to the Associated Press.
According to local media, Frieden, 57, is accused of grabbing the buttocks of a 55-year-old woman inside his Brooklyn Heights apartment last year. He is expected to appear in court later Friday. Both have known each other for several years, the law enforcement official said. Helen Peterson, a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn district attorney's office, said he will be charged with third-degree sex abuse, forcible touching and harassment.
Frieden served as commissioner from 2002 to 2009 and also lead the Centers for Disease Control. His attorney, Laura Brevetti, entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
Frieden remained in custody on Friday, Muniz said.
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In the '90s, he led a program to control tuberculosis in a NY, lowering incidences whereby people were resistant to multiple drugs.
He is now president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, a $225 million initiative at global health non-profit Vital Strategies, which is funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In 1996, he began working in India with the World Health Organization on tuberculosis control. "In all of my experiences with him, there have never been any concerns or reports of inappropriate conduct", he said. "Vital Strategies greatly values the work Dr. Frieden does to advance public health and he has my full confidence".
He served as NY city health commissioner from 2002-2009 under billionaire mayor Michael Bloomberg, leading efforts to legislate against smoking.