NYPD botched grope probe of FBI agent: accuser

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A female former FBI employee believes the NYPD botched a probe into her allegation that a high-ranking agent groped her in a Manhattan bar, The Post has learned.

The investigation didn’t lead to any charges against John Venturelli, who at the time was an assistant special agent in charge of an elite division of the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force.

But the FBI’s Office of Inspector General later deemed the woman’s allegations credible, along with those of two other women who made similar accusations against Venturelli, 50.

The incident allegedly took place on Nov. 13, 2018, in the bar area of the Brass Monkey, a Meatpacking District watering hole favored by the feds, the woman told The Post.

The woman alleged to the NYPD that Venturelli fondled her private parts and rear end through her clothes in the presence of other FBI employees during a farewell party for a co-worker, according to sources and documents reviewed by The Post.

About two weeks later, she filed a complaint with the NYPD’s Special Victims Division, but the investigation was “bungled from top to bottom,” she said.

A detective assigned to the case arranged for her to make a “controlled call” to try to get Venturelli to implicate himself while being secretly recorded — even though that seemed unlikely given his law-enforcement background, the woman wrote in an e-mail to Deputy Chief Judith Harrison, who at the time led the SVD.

The accuser believes that the NYPD did not properly handle the probe into John Venturelli.
The accuser believes that the NYPD did not properly handle the probe into John Venturelli.
Gregory P. Mango

And during the call, the cop seemed “flustered” and the recording device “beeped to the point where my assaulter asked me point-blank if I was recording the call,” she wrote.

In another e-mail, the woman told Harrison that she suspected Venturelli used his contacts in the NYPD to obtain a copy of her complaint.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said a senior sex crimes prosecutor investigated the case for several weeks and determined there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute.

The NYPD referred questions to the FBI, which declined to comment but previously said it “maintains a zero tolerance policy toward sexual harassment.”

Venturelli, who was transferred from the JTTF office in Chelsea to the FBI’s New York City headquarters at Foley Square following the woman’s complaint, declined to comment when reached by The Post outside of his home.

Additional reporting by Kevin Sheehan

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