NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A former head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been arrested on a sex abuse charge in New York.

Dr. Tom Frieden is accused of forcibly touching and harassing a 55-year-old woman in October 2017.

He’s charged with forcible touching, sex abuse and harassment.

Frieden served as New York City’s health commissioner from 2002 to 2009, then went on to lead the CDC until last year.

He was arrested Friday morning in Brooklyn.

Frieden’s current employer issued a statement Friday afternoon, standing by the embattled doctor.

“I have known and worked closely with Dr. Frieden for nearly 30 years and have seen first-hand that he has the highest ethical standards both personally and professionally,” the president and CEO of Vital Strategies, José Castro said. “In all of my experiences with him, there have never been any concerns or reports of inappropriate conduct.”

Castro added that Frieden has the “full confidence” of Vital Strategies and says an in-depth review of the Resolve to Save Lives Initiative – which Frieden leads – reportedly found “no incidents of workplace harassment.”

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