PEEKSKILL, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – There are shocking charges against a police officer in the northern Westchester County city of Peekskill.
The District Attorney says the cop stalked and sexually abused a woman with a learning disability while on duty.
Peekskill is on an upswing, with new businesses and a thriving arts scene. Now there’s an ugly accusation against a veteran city cop.
Michael Agovino is charged with stalking and sex abuse of a woman while on duty.
Residents say it is disturbing.
“As far as I know, Peekskill police is ‘protect and serve.’ I don’t know about ‘undress and serve.’ I don’t like this. I don’t feel safe,” said Peekskill resident Daishon Dobbs.
The criminal complaint says it started last July at an apartment on South Street. Agovino, armed and in uniform, allegedly told a woman suspected of larceny she had to strip. She told police she obeyed and removed her clothes.
The complaint says Agovino returned some days later, and “fearful he would physically harm her, the victim again disrobed and [Agovino] proceeded to subject her to sexual contact.”
The cop allegedly returned again in January and made more sexual demands. This time, the victim made an audio recording of that encounter, and gave it to police.
“The audio recording is disturbing,” said county legislator Colin Smith. Smith lives in Peekskill and is a former city councilman.
“It’s very disappointing. It’s scary and individuals in that position have to be held accountable,” Smith said.
Agovino has at least one other blemish on his record, reported CBS2’s Tony Aiello. The city settled a lawsuit years ago – a Peekskill man claimed Agovino kicked him repeatedly and unnecessarily while making an arrest.
Peekskill police promise full cooperation in this latest investigation. Agovino is on administrative leave and due in court Tuesday.
Agovino was arrested late last week. He’s charged with sex abuse, stalking and burglary.
He spent the weekend in the county jail.
On Facebook, Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey posted “This behavior makes me sick and is intolerable. It was completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional.”
Given the disturbing nature of the charges, the mayor of Peekskill wants to hold a meeting where the police and public can discuss the importance of mutual respect.