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DA Mum on Sex Assault Probe of Police Commissioner's Son

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Manhattan District Attorney was mum about the rape allegation against the police commissioner’s son on Friday – telling WNYC that any leaks from his office were “unfortunate” and he has no idea where they came from.

Speaking on WNYC Friday, Manhattan DA Cy Vance said he did not know the source of a report in the New York Post that quotes a source saying investigators thought the case “reeks of BS.”

"I don't comment on ongoing investigations, and I have absolutely no idea what source of that incendiary quote is, nor would I support an anonymous quote like that," Vance said.

It's been a daunting couple of days for Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who's been the city's influential police boss for the last decade.

The police commissioner's TV show host son is accused of sexually assaulting and impregnating a woman. Some activists are calling for the commissioner's resignation for appearing in a film they call anti-Muslim. And the CIA is pulling an operative out of his unusual assignment at the NYPD, a partnership he helped create.

And Friday likely won't be much easier, with Kelly potentially facing questions publicly for the first time since the allegations surfaced Wednesday against his son Greg, who denies them and has not been charged with any crime.

The department was planning a promotion ceremony Friday. The commissioner usually answers questions from reporters after such events, but said Friday through his spokesman Paul Browne that he will not "entertain questions, directly or tangentially related to his son."

The Manhattan district attorney's office is investigating a woman's allegation that Greg Kelly, 43, met her for drinks on Oct. 8, then assaulted her after the two went to her lower Manhattan law office, one person familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press. She told authorities she was not capable of consenting to sex, the person said.

She said she became pregnant from the encounter and had an abortion, according to a law enforcement official. Neither the person nor the law enforcement official were authorized to speak publicly and talked to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The woman reported the alleged attack Tuesday to police, who quickly turned the matter over to Manhattan DA Cyrus R. Vance Jr.'s office because of the potential conflict of interest in investigating one of the commissioner's sons, the person familiar with the probe said.

Greg Kelly took time off from his job as an anchor of the local morning show "Good Day New York," and Mayor Michael Bloomberg found himself facing questions about how police handled the matter, including an episode in which the woman's boyfriend approached the commissioner himself at a public event.

"He said, `Your son ruined my girlfriend's life,"' Browne said. "The commissioner said, `Well, what do you mean?' He said he didn't want to talk about it here, so the commissioner told him to send a letter."

Browne said that, to his knowledge, no letter was sent. He said he couldn't comment on the investigation because of the potential conflict of interest.

Bloomberg said Thursday that he "thought the police department did exactly what they should do" by turning the matter over to the district attorney.

"Keep in mind: Everyone has a right to have their complaints investigated," the mayor said, noting that Greg Kelly hasn't been charged with any crime.

It wasn't clear how much time elapsed between the man's remarks to the commissioner and the woman's decision to go to a police station Tuesday; why she had waited for nearly three months after the alleged attack to make a report; or whether she supplied any medical evidence to authorities to support her claim.

It's also unclear how long the woman and Greg Kelly knew each other before the alleged encounter at her office. But they apparently were in touch afterward, according to the person familiar with the investigation.

Kelly "strenuously denies any wrongdoing of any kind," his attorney, Andrew Lankler, said in a statement. "We know that the district attorney's investigation will prove Mr. Kelly's innocence."

The woman's identity has not been released, and the AP does not name people who report being sexually assaulted unless they agree to be identified or come forward publicly.

Kelly didn't appear Thursday on "Good Day New York," which airs on local Fox affiliate WNYW-TV. General Manager Lew Leone said later that Kelly had requested some time off; Leone didn't elaborate.

One of Kelly's recent guests was Vance, who appeared on the show on Monday to discuss the problem of elder abuse.

Kelly began his journalism career at NewsChannel 34 in Binghamton, N.Y., after serving for nearly a decade in the Marine Corps. He later covered the Iraq War and the White House for Fox News before joining "Good Day New York" in 2008.

He's been involved in an ongoing feud with Joel McHale, host of "The Soup" on E! Entertainment. The show plays clips from television shows to poke fun at people, and McHale has frequently targeted Kelly and "Good Day New York."

One clip noted his sullen response to co-host Rosanna Scotto the morning after a loss by the NFL's New York Jets. Another showed Kelly playing disco music on his laptop coming off a commercial.

Kelly struck back last Halloween by showing up on "Good Day New York" in a McHale costume and making fun of "The Soup."

In 2007, the television show "Extra" identified Kelly as the most eligible anchorman on TV. The show's website said Kelly "has enough heart and courage to make any woman swoon."

After serving as police commissioner for a stint in the 1990s, Raymond Kelly returned to the post in 2002.

About 20 activists held a news conference Thursday on the City Hall steps to urge Kelly to step down and criticize him for giving an interview to the producers of "The Third Jihad," a film shown to police trainees. The activists said the film encourages Americans to be suspicious of all Muslims. Kelly has apologized for the interview. Bloomberg said Thursday he stood by the commissioner but Kelly would need to redouble his efforts to forge ties with Muslims.

Meanwhile, the CIA operative's assignment inside the New York Police Department is being cut short after an internal investigation that faulted the agency for sending an officer to New York with little oversight after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and leaving him there too long, according to officials who have read or been briefed on the inquiry. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the investigation.

The inspector general opened its investigation after a series of AP articles revealed how the NYPD, working in close collaboration with the CIA, set up spying operations that put Muslim communities under scrutiny. The CIA said last month that the inspector general cleared the agency of any wrongdoing.

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