Former CDC Director Arrested on Charges of Groping Woman Last Year

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden in the Oval Office at the White House on May 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention turned himself in to New York police today on charges that he groped a woman in October 2017.

Tom Frieden was head of the CDC during the 2014 ebola epidemic and, before his eight years at the CDC, was New York City health commissioner from 2002-09. In that job, he fought against trans-fats in NYC restaurants and instituted other policies that drew ire from civil libertarians such as scrapping written consent for HIV testing and establishing an involuntary diabetes database.

After leaving the CDC in 2017, Frieden launched Resolve to Save Lives, a $225 million, 5-year initiative that “aims to save millions of lives from cardiovascular disease and make the world safer from epidemics” and is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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. Though they knew each other, they were not believed to have an intimate relationship. She reported the incident to law enforcement this July.

Frieden is charged with forcible touching, sex abuse and harassment. He was still in NYPD custody and scheduled to appear in court today.