Written by Andy Newman, firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, 16 November 2013 00:00
Village of Kings Point Deputy Mayor David Harounian was issued a summons in late October charging him with harassment of Great Neck resident Joanna Cronin while both were attending services at Temple Israel.
Cronin has alleged that Harounian approached her and made inappropriate comments to her and also forced her to touch her own chest after the services were over.
Her attorney, Marvyn Kornberg, a Great Neck resident who has a practice in Queens, said in a telephone interview with the Great Neck Record: “We’ll see what happens. I know that the police are doing an investigation and I don’t know if there are any other complaints out there. It is what it is.”
“The charges against my client are baseless,” said Harounian’s attorney, Melvyn K. Roth, in an email to the Record. “Mr. Harounian did not harass anyone and denies the allegations. Mr. Harounian has an impeccable reputation in the Kings Point community and is well respected by all. We will fight the accusation vigorously in court.”
Harounian, 74, also a member of the Kings Point Board of Trustees, was charged with a violation of public law 240.26, harassment in the second degree. Harounian entered a not guilty plea in First District Court last Thursday. His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec.19
The harassment law states, in part, that “a person is guilty of harassment in the second degree when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person he or she strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects such other person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to do the same.”
The law also says that a person is guilty “if he or she follows a person in or about a public place…or engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which alarm or seriously annoy such other person and which serve no legitimate purpose.”
Being charged with a violation, as Harounian is, is not as serious as being charged with a misdemeanor. Conviction can lead to as much as 15 days in jail and a $200 fine. But persons with no prior criminal history rarely serve time.