David Harounian, Kings Point deputy mayor, gets community service in harassment case
The deputy mayor of Kings Point agreed Monday to perform 14 hours of community service in return for the eventual dismissal of charges that he inappropriately touched a woman in a Great Neck synagogue last year, prosecutors said.
David Harounian, 74, a Manhattan rug merchant and importer, also agreed to a do-not-harass order of protection for the victim, according to a spokesman for Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice.
The charges will be dismissed after six months if Harounian performs the community service, does not violate the order of protection and does not get arrested again, the spokesman said.
Harounian entered into the agreement, called an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, before Judge Susan Kluewer in First District Court, the spokesman said. He had been charged with second-degree harassment, a violation punishable by up to 15 days in jail.
Harounian's attorney, Melvyn Roth of Garden City, said his client "was glad to get this behind him . . . The ultimate result is a dismissal. For practical reasons, it's better to get this resolved now and the charges will be dismissed later, as they should be."
The victim, Joanna Cronin, 43, of Great Neck, could not be reached for comment Monday. "She's still pretty outraged, upset by it," said her attorney, David Goldstein, of Queens. "To have the case ultimately dismissed may not sit right with her, but community service is at least something."
Cronin said that as she sat in Temple Israel of Great Neck on Old Mill Road on Oct. 26, she was approached by Harounian, then a stranger to her, who asked her a sexually suggestive question. About a half-hour later, as they were both leaving the temple, she said he approached her again, and this time took her arm and moved it against her chest.