The “incident” happened “on or about October 20, 2017.” The victim was friends with the perp and his family for more than 30 years. There is no information as to whether she was particularly callipygian, but at 55 years of age, might not be at her prime. And the perp of this heinous sex attack?
Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, who ran the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for eight years under President Obama, was arrested in Brooklyn on Friday morning and charged with groping a woman in his apartment in October 2017, the police said.
Before the vicious attack occurred, the “survivor” was deeply involved in the #metoo movement as an artist creating #metoo art. But it wasn’t until her life was turned upside down by her victimization that she was able to add “victim” to her resume.
In April, she wrote an article in an online publication describing her transition from activist to victim, and related the events of that night without naming her abuser.
What was this horrifying act of depravity that cause her to go to the police ten months later to seek criminal charges against this person she’s known for more than 30 year?
He touched her butt. There are any number of words that can be, and are being, used to characterize the crime, squeeze, grope, assault, but it amounts to her alleging he touched her butt. Maybe he did squeeze her tush. Maybe he grabbed it like a ripe cantaloupe and squeeeeezed it. It’s not as if he’s a serial squeezer. As far as this long-time family friend alleges, it was just the one squeeze. Maybe women will come out of the woodwork and accuse Frieden of squeezeing theirs as well.
The top count is Forcible Touching, Penal Law 130.52(1).
130.52 Forcible touching.
A person is guilty of forcible touching when such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose:
1. forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person, or for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire;
For the purposes of this section, forcible touching includes squeezing, grabbing or pinching.
Forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor.
Did Frieden gratify his sexual desire? Was his purpose to degrade or abuse his victim, whatever that means? Maybe. Maybe it was done as a joke? Maybe it was an accidental touching that was interpreted as a squeeze, but not a pinch. Maybe it wasn’t really a squeeze, but just a caress performed to fill his filthy sexual needs, but a touch wouldn’t be a crime and so it was called a squeeze. Ten months later, this 30-year family friend could use this squeeze to cause her friend’s arrest.
She said Dr. Frieden groped her while their spouses were not looking, and apologized later, citing personal problems he was having.
Their spouses, apparently were present, but not looking. Likely no one can corroborate the squeeze. Likely no witness can corroborate a defense that it wasn’t a squeeze. Did he “apologize” when she said, “Tom, get your mitt off my butt,” and he said, “Oops, sorry, didn’t mean to touch your tush”?
But even the absence of any witness, any physical evidence, any corroboration that any of this happened, the sort of thing that would save a star professor like Avital Ronell from the ruin of years of sexual assault, doesn’t mean the victim isn’t telling the truth. And the NYPD and Kings County district attorney believe her. So too, the judge.
He was arraigned Friday afternoon before Justice Michael Yavinsky in Kings County Criminal Court on charges of forcible touching, third-degree sexual abuse and harassment. The judge released Dr. Frieden without bail, ordering him to surrender his passport and to have no contact with the victim.
It was certainly prescient of Judge Yavinsky to order the surrender of his passport to avoid him fleeing to a tropical island to avoid prosecution, and issue a no contact order, since there was a grave chance that Frieden might stalk her to touch her behind one more time.
Of course, not everybody who accepts the “survivor’s” allegation as gospel sees this invocation of the legal system almost a year after this heinous attack as critically necessary to prevent this tushie-toucher from scouring Brooklyn Heights in search of a backside to squeeze.
@nytimes she was an old friend. It was a family party. He grabbed her ass. So why not tell him to buzz off & demand apology. Who calls the cops on a friend —nearly a year later—for a boorish pass? And why the arrest? Is there more to the story or has world gone mad?
This is no apologia for groping a woman’s backside. It’s not acceptable conduct. Whether Frieden squeezed or touched, or touched at all, and whether he did so to “degrade” his old family friend or to gratify his sexual desire, or by accident, remains to be seen. But assuming the worst, as out of character as it may be for Frieden, and that at age 57, he decided to begin a life of butt-squeezing, is this what you call the cops on? Ten months later?
As Christina Hoff Summers asks, if some old friend does this to you, would yelling, “get your hand off my ass,” or even more severe, delivering a smack for putting a hand where it has no business being, not be sufficient recourse?
The only viable answer, of course, is that nothing short of arrest and prosecution would be sufficient in these days of #metoo. After all, the victim was scarred for life, probably has PTSD, and will forever be tainted as a victim of butt-squeezing. Damaged goods.
And then there’s the protection of the next potential victim of Frieden’s tush antics. What of her? How could this victim live with herself knowing that some other 55-year-old family friend might endure the same trauma? Silence would make her complicit.
It’s unlikely Frieden will spend any time in jail for his sexual attack on this ten-month suffering victim, but then, if he didn’t want to be arrested, to be prosecuted, to be punished, he shouldn’t have touched her butt. He brought this on himself, as do they all.