A former police officer in Westchester County was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday after he sexually abused a woman multiple times while he was on duty, prosecutors said.
Michael Agovino was sentenced after previously pleading guilty in March in an agreement with the judge. The Westchester County District Attorney’s office objected to the sentence, as prosecutors were looking for 15 years behind bars in addition to Agovino pleading guilty to a slew of charges including sexual abuse, burglary, stalking, coercion, forcible touching, and more.
“Michael Agovino egregiously violated the trust of the Peekskill community, grossly abused his position of authority as a police officer, and violated his oath of office. While we are disappointed that the Court’s sentence did not meet our recommendation, Michael Agovino is going to prison,” DA Miriam Rocah said. “We hope this case sends a message that no one is above the law.”
The charges against Agovino stemmed from incidents dating back to 2019, when the 26-year-old Agovino was an officer with the Peekskill Police Department. Under the guise of conducting an investigation, the Orangetown resident entered the victim’s home twice in July of 2019. The first time, the then-officer demanded she take off her clothes, and then he sexually abused her, according to prosecutors.
During the second unlawful appearance in the victim’s home later that month, Agovino threatened her with arrest unless she again took off her clothing or performed a sex act on him, prosecutors said.
Over the next five months, Agovino unlawfully entered (or tried to enter) the victim’s home three times, all while on duty, and on one instance sexually abused her. The final time he did so, in Jan. 2020, the victim made an audio recording of the interaction, prosecutors said, and turned it over to the DA’s office.
Agovino was arrested the next month, on Feb. 15, 2020.
The victim made a statement to the court, explaining the damage that Agovino’s action had incurred on her life.
“I had to move out of my home and start over because it wasn’t a home anymore. Your actions took me from my hometown where I came from after 49 years. I was even pulling out my own hair and at one point, I even thought about taking my own life,” she said. “This is about what you did. You took advantage of my fear of your position.”
DA Rocah saluted the “extremely brave victim” who “fought to hold her abuser accountable by coming forward after being abused.”