February 20, 2020
By Matt Spillane, LoHud
The Westchester district attorney today encouraged anyone else who might have been abused by a Peekskill police officer to come forward.
Anthony Scarpino also said at a news conference that his office can provide help to people who find themselves in situations where they are being abused by someone in a position of authority.
Peekskill Officer Michael Agovino, 33, who lives in the Palisades section of Orangetown, has been accused of sexually abusing a woman, forcing her to undress and groping her.
Agovino is accused of committing crimes while he was in uniform and on duty. Authorities said the victim made an audio recording of Agovino’s actions during a January incident at her home.
Scarpino said authorities are not aware of any previous accusations of this nature against Agovino. They are investigating the circumstances they say led to Agovino’s coming into contact with the victim.
Scarpino said there is no indication that Agovino has abused anyone else, but added, “If there are any other victims, whether it be involved in this case or any case, that they come forward to assist us.”
Scarpino said his office learned about accusations from a news outlet that had interviewed the woman after she reached out to reporters. He urged crime victims to contact authorities directly, whether it be police or prosecutors.
The abuse in this case began when Agovino started investigating a reported larceny, possibly involving the woman, authorities said. Scarpino said it was a legitimate report of a larceny that led to Agovino coming into contact with the victim, but the status of that reported larceny and its investigation was not immediately clear.
“Whether it’s turning out to be an actual case or not, I don’t have that information at this time,” Scarpino said.
Michelle Lopez, the chief of the DA’s Sex Crimes Bureau, said today that authorities are looking into whether Agovino and the woman knew each other before that larceny complaint.
The abuse began on July 9, 2019, when Agovino met the woman at a public location and told her she was under investigation for a larceny, according to a criminal complaint filed in Peekskill City Court by an investigator from the DA’s Office.
Peekskill police officer Michael Agovino appears in court for charges on sexually abusing a woman who has a learning disability, Feb. 18, 2020 in Peekskill. The 33-year-old Orangetown resident posted $100,000 bond.
The woman told authorities that Agovino took her to her apartment that day and ordered her to strip so he could search for stolen money. He is accused of groping her and telling her he would return to arrest her if she was found to have stolen the money.
Agovino returned to the woman’s apartment at some point between July 9 and Aug. 1 and told her she could either strip or perform oral sex on him, according to the complaint. The woman undressed and Agovino groped her, the investigator said.
Agovino returned on Jan. 22, at which point the woman made an audio recording of his actions, according to the complaint. He is accused of ordering her to undress, pulling at her shirt and pants, and groping her over her clothing.
On Saturday Agovino was arrested and charged with first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree stalking as a sexually-motivated felony, and second-degree burglary as a sexually-motivated felony.