Former CDC director Tom Frieden settled charges of sexual harassment made last year with a guilty plea to disorderly conduct on Tuesday in a Brooklyn courthouse.
The violation plea brings to a close a case that saw the former head of a federal health agency and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene arrested on sex abuse, forcible touching, and harassment charges last August. All the initial charges were dropped with Tuesday’s agreement, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, as is common in plea agreements.
Frieden, 58, declined to comment on the plea to BuzzFeed News.
Last year’s arrest followed a court complaint by a 55-year-old Brooklyn woman that Frieden squeezed her butt without her consent at his apartment in 2017.
The violation plea includes a one-year order for Frieden to avoid contact with the woman. A violation is not a crime, so he will not have a criminal record, and after a year without incident, the violation would be dismissed from public records, according to the DA’s office.
Frieden led US efforts in the middle of the decade to halt a dangerous Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and today heads a $225 million, 5-year public health initiative aimed at combating heart disease and epidemics worldwide.