By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A mid-ranking U.N. official has been charged with sexual abuse, the New York Police Department said on Wednesday, nine months after a former U.N. contractor filed a complaint against him.
Dushyant Joshi, who works at the U.N. human resources department's emergency preparedness and support team, was arrested on Tuesday, a police official said.
Joshi did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Joshi has been charged with third-degree sexual abuse, the police said. According to the New York State Penal Code, the maximum penalty for third-degree sexual abuse is three months in prison.
Joshi's arrest came nine months after a woman, who worked as a U.N. contractor, filed a complaint against him through the United Nations' internal justice system, and eight months after she said she filed a complaint with the police.
Reuters obtained a copy of the complaint made to the United Nations, which accused Joshi of forcefully kissing and touching the employee at a bar near U.N. headquarters in Manhattan on June 3, 2011.
On June 5, Catherine Pollard, the assistant secretary-general for human resources at the United Nations, informed the woman, whose contract ended in December, in writing that Joshi would be subject to disciplinary action.
Reuters obtained a copy of Pollard's letter, which said Joshi denied the allegations of sexual abuse.
U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said he could only speak about the U.N. investigation, not about actions taken by New York police.
"We can confirm that an internal process was recently completed," he said. "This is a confidential process and, therefore, we are not in a position to provide any further comment."
Joshi's arraignment has not yet been scheduled, the Manhattan court clerk's office said.
(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Peter Cooney)