Peekskill Mayor Andre Rainey publicly chastised a city police officer who was charged with sexually abusing and burglarizing a woman while on duty.
Michael Agovino, 33, pled not guilty before Judge Reginald Johnson in City Court Tuesday and was released after posting a $100,000 bond. He has been placed on administrative leave and is due back in court March 12.
“After reading the headlines, articles and links from the officer in Peekskill, it’s an embarrassment to our police department and our entire city as a whole. This behavior makes me sick and is intolerable. It was completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional. There is no situation where this type of behavior is acceptable,” Rainey stated on Facebook. “We read and hear stories of police officers all over the world and we pray it never comes this close to our city and our community. This is a terrifying situation, beyond upsetting, especially with all the great news coming out of our city lately. In Peekskill, we expect our employees, in law enforcement especially, to maintain their professionalism and proper training at all times. We expect them to protect and respect, not take advantage of and intimidate.”
Agovino, a resident of Palisades in Rockland County, is facing felony charges of first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree stalking as a sexually motivated felony, and second-degree burglary as a sexually motivated felony. A four-page complaint has been filed by the Westchester County District Attorney’s office.
According to the complaint, Agovino allegedly first met his victim in July 2019 to investigate a larceny. He met the woman, who reportedly has a learning disability, that day, accused her of stealing money and demanded she take him to her apartment. Agovino allegedly then entered his victim’s home and sexually assaulted her. He went back to her apartment several times over the summer, using the threat of an arrest to continually sexually abuse her. He also allegedly refused to allow her to take medication.
Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr.’s office stated that during the investigation, an audio recording was captured in January when Agovino allegedly returned to his victim’s apartment and subjected her to “unwanted sexual contact.”
Agovino, who has been employed by the Peekskill Police Department since 2010, had been held at the Westchester County jail in Valhalla since his arrest on Saturday.
Rainey stated a community meeting will be held in the near future with Police Chief Donald Halmy to address the case.
“As unfortunate as this is, I’m very optimistic this isn’t a reflection of our police department, however, we will not tolerate this behavior at all,” Rainey stated. “We’ve come too far, and we will continue moving forward and deal with this situation accordingly if these allegations are true. This is a severe blow that will be resolved, justice will be given, and we will overcome.”