By Alex Ginsberg
A 17-year veteran of the Queens district attorney’s office was arrested early Sunday morning in the Bronx and charged with sexual abuse, police said.
Assistant District Attorney Peter Walcott, 46, was charged with third-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor, a police spokesman said. The incident occurred at 6:30 a.m. at the corner of East 169th Street and Third Avenue in the Morrisania section, police said.
According to published reports, Walcott drove up to a 20-year-old man, invited him into his car and then groped him.
In a statement, Queens DA Richard Brown said “ADA Walcott has been suspended pending the outcome of an administrative review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the arrest.”
Walcott was assigned to the Homicide Trial Bureau and had been with the Queens DA’s office since 1986, a law enforcement source said.
He was known as a capable and experienced trial attorney as well as a pleasant and respectful colleague, the law enforcement source said. There was never any indication that he had any problems.
Walcott will appear in Bronx Criminal Court June 17, a spokeswoman for the Bronx district attorney’s office said. He could receive a sentence of up to one year of probation or 90 days in prison.
According to the Daily News, Walcott allegedly drove up to a 20-year-old man at the corner of 169th Street and Third Avenue in Morrisania and asked where he could buy marijuana. After the man got into Walcott’s car, the prosecutor allegedly groped him, the News reported.
The New York Post said both men called 911 with conflicting stories: Walcott reporting that he had been carjacked and the man, whose name was not released, that he was the victim of a sexual assault. Police corroborated the alleged victim’s version of events after viewing a surveillance videotape, the Post reported.
In March, Walcott won the conviction of Tyrone Atkinson, 43, of Hollis, for the 1993 murder of Lloyd Clarke, 33, of Ozone Park, the Queens DA’s office said. The sentence was 25 years to life.
According to published reports at the time, Atkinson quarreled with Clarke, a grocery store worker, when Clarke asked him to leave the store where Atkinson had allegedly been selling drugs. Atkinson had been on the run for almost a decade before he was apprehended.
Walcott’s arrest marked the second incident in as many years involving a Queens assistant district attorney. In January 2002, Michael Connolly quit his position as a prosecutor of sex-related crimes after he was charged with patronizing a prostitute in an industrial section of Flushing notorious for prostitution. There are 280 ADAs assigned to the Queens DA’s office.
Reach reporter Alex Ginsberg by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.