Aug. 24, 2018 — Former CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, was arrested Friday in New York City on sex abuse charges.
Multiple media outlets reported that Frieden faces charges of forcible touching, sex abuse, and harassment.
Frieden was CDC director from 2009 to 2017.
The charges stem from a dinner party in October 2017 at Frieden’s Brooklyn apartment, law enforcement authorities told CNN. As people were leaving, Frieden allegedly grabbed the buttocks of a 55-year-old woman without her consent.
The sources said Frieden and the woman had known each other for several years. She reportedly filed the complaint in July.
Frieden, 57, turned himself in and, according to Politico, appeared briefly in a Brooklyn courtroom this afternoon and was released with no bail. Judge Michael Yavinsky ordered Frieden not to communicate with his accuser and told him to surrender his passport. His next court appearance is Oct. 11.
Frieden stepped down from the CDC at the beginning of the Trump presidency. Before leading the CDC, Frieden served as the New York City health commissioner from 2002 to 2009.
He now is the president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, a global health nonprofit.
Jose Castro, president and CEO of Vital Strategies, the parent nonprofit of Resolve to Save Lives, told CNN that Frieden told him in April “that a non-work-related friend of his and his family of more than 30 years accused him of inappropriate physical contact.”
Castro said, “I have known and worked closely with Dr. Frieden for nearly 30 years and have seen firsthand that he has the highest ethical standards both personally and professionally.”
He added, “Vital Strategies is committed to a workplace that is free of sexual harassment. 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. This assessment determined there have been no incidents of workplace harassment. Vital Strategies greatly values the work Dr. Frieden does to advance public health and he has my full confidence.”