NEW YORK (AP) - The police commissioner’s TV host son has been cleared of the prospect of criminal charges of raping a woman he met for a drink, but it’s not clear how quickly he might return to his spot as a jocular morning-show host.
After prosecutors said Tuesday they hadn’t found cause to charge Greg Kelly, he said in a statement that he was looking forward to reappearing soon on local Fox affiliate WNYW-TV’s “Good Day New York,” but he didn’t say when. A representative for the station and a spokesman for Kelly didn’t immediately return calls Tuesday night.
“Good Day New York” on Wednesday reported on the facts of the story without mentioning when Kelly might return.
The woman told police late last month that Kelly raped her in her lower Manhattan office after they went out for drinks on Oct. 8, assaulting her while she wasn’t capable of consenting to sex, a person familiar with the investigation said. She told authorities she became pregnant from the encounter and had an abortion, according to a law enforcement official. Neither was authorized to speak publicly, and they spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Prosecutors interviewed “numerous relevant fact and expert witnesses,” analyzed receipts, security logs, text messages and telephone records, and they interviewed both the woman and Kelly, the chief of the Manhattan district attorney’s office sex crimes unit, Martha Bashford, wrote in a letter Tuesday to Kelly’s lawyer, Andrew M. Lankler.
“After reviewing all of the evidence, we have determined that the facts established during our investigation do not fit the definitions of sexual assault crimes under New York criminal law,” Bashford wrote. “Therefore, no criminal charges are appropriate.”
Kelly had vehemently denied doing anything wrong, and he portrayed the prosecutors’ conclusions as vindication.
“I am thankful that the investigation established what I’ve known all along, that I am innocent of the allegations that were waged against me,” Kelly, 43, said in his statement.
“I am so blessed to have a wonderful family and friends whose support for me never wavered,” added Kelly, whose father, Raymond Kelly, has been the city’s police boss for a decade after an earlier stint in the 1990s. The commissioner has declined to comment on the allegations.
The woman, who works at a downtown law firm, told police she met Kelly on the street; they then arranged to meet for drinks three days later at a bar at the nearby South Street Seaport, a second person familiar with the investigation has said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss details not made public. The woman and Kelly stayed in contact afterward, the first person said.
At some point, the woman’s boyfriend learned the story and became enraged, that person said.
While the police department speedily turned the matter over to the DA’s office when the woman walked into a police station on Jan. 24, citing the potential conflict of interest in investigating a son of the commissioner, Raymond Kelly was a side note in the story of how the allegations surfaced.
Before she went to police, the woman’s boyfriend confronted the commissioner in person at a public event, saying Greg Kelly had ruined his girlfriend’s life but declining to elaborate on the spot when asked what he meant, police spokesman Paul Browne said. The commissioner suggested the boyfriend send him a letter, but the man apparently never did, Browne said.
The allegation had put Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. in the position of investigating an allegation against a relative of a key law enforcement ally _ and presented the first-term DA with another high-profile sex crime investigation less than six months after an attempted rape charge against the former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn collapsed amid doubt about his accuser’s trustworthiness. Strauss-Kahn denied the allegations against him.
Prosecutors do not plan to charge Kelly’s accuser with any crime, DA’s office spokeswoman Joan Vollero said.
The AP does not name people who report being sexually assaulted unless they agree to be identified or come forward publicly.
A former Marine turned TV journalist, Greg Kelly appeared on local stations in New York and Binghamton, N.Y., before joining Fox News in 2002. He covered the Iraq war, including four assignments in Baghdad, and was the White House correspondent from 2005-2007, according to his biography on WNYW’s website. In 2007, the television show “Extra” identified him as the most eligible anchorman on TV.
He has appeared since 2008 on “Good Day New York,” taking time off since the allegations surfaced Jan. 25.
One of his most recent guests before his leave was Vance, discussing the problem of elder abuse and fielding some questions from Kelly about the Strauss-Kahn case.
Associated Press writers Deepti Hajela, Tom Hays and Colleen Long contributed to this report.
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