NYPD chief keeping quiet on son's sex probe

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly leaves a news conference Jan. 27, 2012, in New York.
AP Photo

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

NEW YORK - Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly faced the media Friday for the first time since reports surfaced that a woman had accused his son of rape, refusing to discuss the headline-grabbing case and referring questions to Manhattan prosecutors.

"I'm not going to ... with all due respect, answer any questions on this matter," Kelly said at a news conference at police headquarters when queried about the case involving his son Greg, an anchor for the popular morning show "Good Day New York."

It has been a daunting couple of days for Raymond Kelly, who this week faced calls for his resignation for appearing in a documentary film that critics call anti-Muslim. On Thursday, the AP reported the CIA was pulling an operative out of his unusual assignment at the New York Police Department, a partnership he helped create.

The office of District Attorney Cyrus Vance has taken over the sexual assault case — which would normally be investigated by the NYPD — to avoid a conflict of interest. Prosecutors have declined to comment, and Kelly has denied any wrongdoing.

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The woman alleges that Greg Kelly, 43, met her for drinks on Oct. 8, that they went to her lower Manhattan law office and that he assaulted her, a person familiar with the investigation has told The Associated Press. She told authorities she was not capable of consenting to sex, the person said.

She said she got pregnant from the encounter and had an abortion, according to a law enforcement official. Neither the person nor the official were authorized to speak publicly and talked to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The woman reported the alleged attack Tuesday to police, who quickly turned the matter over to Vance's office because of the potential conflict of interest in investigating one of the commissioner's sons, the person familiar with the probe said.

Greg Kelly has taken time off from his job at "Good Day New York," and Mayor Michael Bloomberg has faced questions about how police handled the matter, including an episode in which the woman's boyfriend approached the commissioner at a public event.

"He said, `Your son ruined my girlfriend's life,"' police spokesman Paul Browne has said. "The commissioner said, `Well, what do you mean?' He said he didn't want to talk about it here, so the commissioner told him to send a letter."

Browne said that, to his knowledge, no letter was sent. He said he couldn't comment on the investigation because of the potential conflict of interest.

Bloomberg said Thursday that he "thought the police department did exactly what they should do" by turning the matter involving Kelly's son over to the district attorney.

"Keep in mind: Everyone has a right to have their complaints investigated," the mayor said, noting that Greg Kelly hasn't been charged with any crime.

It wasn't clear how much time elapsed between the man's remarks to the commissioner and the woman's decision to go to a police station Tuesday; why she had waited for nearly three months after the alleged attack to make a report; or whether she supplied any medical evidence to authorities to support her claim.

It's also unclear how long the woman and Greg Kelly knew each other before the alleged encounter at her office. But they apparently were in touch afterward, according to the person familiar with the investigation.

Kelly "strenuously denies any wrongdoing of any kind," his attorney, Andrew Lankler, said in a statement. "We know that the district attorney's investigation will prove Mr. Kelly's innocence."

The woman's identity has not been released, and the AP does not name people who report being sexually assaulted unless they agree to be identified or come forward publicly.

Kelly didn't appear Thursday or Friday on "Good Day New York," which airs on the local Fox affiliate, WNYW-TV. One of Kelly's recent guests was Vance, who had appeared on the show Monday to discuss the problem of elder abuse.

Kelly began his journalism career at NewsChannel 34 in Binghamton, N.Y., after serving for nearly a decade in the Marine Corps. He later covered the Iraq War and the White House for Fox News before joining "Good Day New York" in 2008.

Raymond Kelly, who served as police commissioner for a stint in the 1990s and returned in 2002, would not speak to the sex assault case but did address the flap around "The Third Jihad," a documentary film shown to police trainees and in which he appeared.

About 20 activists held a news conference Thursday on the City Hall steps to urge Kelly to step down, saying the film encourages Americans to be suspicious of all Muslims.

Kelly has already apologized for the interview and on Friday called it inflammatory and said it was shown by mistake in a side room of a training center. He also defended the NYPD's record with the city's Muslim community, calling the relationship "excellent."