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Lawyer Says Prominent Attorney Sanford Rubenstein Denies Sex Assault Allegations

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A lawyer for a high-profile attorney who works with the Rev. Al Sharpton's civil rights group said Monday that his client denies accusations of sexual assault, as police continued to investigate the case.

The prominent attorney is under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman after Al Sharpton's 60th birthday party last week. Both Rubenstein and his accuser attended the star-studded event at the Four Seasons Hotel New York last Wednesday.

As CBS 2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported Monday, an NYPD crime scene van was parked outside Sanford Rubenstein's Upper East Side apartment throughout the day Monday. Detectives could be seen coming and going, searching the residence and looking for evidence.

In what Kramer said amounted to a strip search of an apartment, police carted out at least a dozen large evidence bags from Rubenstein's apartment Monday.

But the big question was where he was going to sleep Monday night. Police backed a van right into Rubenstein's garage and hauled away his mattress.

A source tells CBS 2 that Rubenstein's and the woman went back to his apartment after the party at the Four Seasons. The woman alleged that at the apartment, Rubenstein had sex with her when she was too intoxicated to give consent or even remember.

Investigation Continues Into Sex Assault Allegations Against Prominent Attorney Sanford Rubenstein

Rubenstein's own attorney, Benjamin Brafman, was unperturbed by the search Monday.

"I think it is standard operating procedure, especially when there is a high-profile person involved in an investigation, the Police Department wants to do its best to be careful and thorough," Brafman said.

Rubenstein's attorney also denies the allegations against his client, and said he believes the Manhattan District Attorney's office will "supervise this in a fair and very appropriate manner."

"Mr. Rubenstein is one of the most successful, talented lawyers in New York City. He denies any criminal conduct whatsoever," Brafman said. "We are confident that when the investigation is completed, that the district attorney will not authorize the filing of any criminal charges."

Rubenstein told police through his attorney that that the sex with the woman was consensual.

The woman filed the complaint after she woke up bleeding and went to the hospital, Kramer reported. Sources told CBS 2 that since the woman's recollection of the night was fuzzy, police had her make a "sting" call to Rubenstein to talk about their night together.

Rubenstein made no incriminating statements in the call, sources said.

"We do not believe, based on what we know to be the case, that Sanford Rubenstein committed any crime whatsoever," Brafman said.

Meanwhile, Sharpton said the woman who filed the complaint is a top official within the National Action Network and that the accusations put him in a difficult position, given his relationship with both parties.

Lawyer Says Prominent Attorney Sanford Rubenstein Denies Sex Assault Allegations

"Sandy and I have become friends, but the young lady who made the accusation is a top official," Sharpton said. "Sandy has no official capacity with NAN. She does and I respect her and she's been very helpful to us, so we're like between this situation."

Rubenstein has worked closely with the National Action Network, representing prominent clients like the family of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man who died in police custody.

Sharpton said he was so concerned about the incident that he met personally with the Garner family on Monday to discuss Rubenstein's continued involvement in their lawsuit.

"We're not dealing with who's guilty or not guilty, or what happened or what didn't happen," Sharpton said. "But we want to keep our focus on aggressive pursuit of justice for Eric Garner."

CBS 2's Kramer also spoke with the woman's attorney, who said she is finding the situation "surreal."

"She is an outstanding member of the community, a mother, and she will cooperate fully with the police," the woman's lawyer said.

Police confirmed the criminal complaint against Rubenstein, but said no charges have been filed at this point.

Brafman said Rubenstein has not been questioned by police.

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