David Harounian, Kings Point deputy mayor, accused of harassment in Temple Israel of Great Neck synagogue
The deputy mayor of the Village of Kings Point has been accused of harassment by a woman who said he touched her inappropriately and made suggestive comments to her inside a Great Neck synagogue they both attended.
David Harounian, 74, who is also a member of the village's board of trustees, was issued a summons on Oct. 27 accusing him of harassment in the second degree, a violation, Nassau police said Monday.
Harounian could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Melvin Roth of Garden City, denied the allegations.
"The charges are baseless," Roth said. "Mr. Harounian has an impeccable reputation. He is an upstanding citizen, and he's been an officer of the synagogue. We haven't seen the details of the accusation, but we know some woman is accusing him of harassment, and we deny the allegations completely."
Joanna Cronin, 43, of Great Neck, said in an interview that Harounian approached her on Oct. 26 as she sat in Temple Israel of Great Neck on Old Mill Road and asked her a sexually suggestive question. About a half an hour later, as they were both leaving the synagogue, he approached her again, said, "You didn't answer my question," Cronin said.
Harounian grabbed her arm and forced her to touch her chest, Cronin said. Cronin, a mother of three, said she did not recognize Harounian, but other members of the synagogue told her he was a member and a regular at services.
Her attorney, Marvyn Kornberg of Queens, said, "I hope the district attorney's office uses its best discretion in protecting the rights of the complainant in this case."