A bench warrant has been ordered for the arrest of a Brooklyn man who served as a prominent political liaison for Mayor Bill de Blasio and was later convicted of sexual abuse.
Aharon ‘Ari’ Noe was due to begin a prison sentence today but officials say he never appeared in court.
Noe had been convicted in 2013 on charges of attempted forcible touching and third-degree sexual abuse.
He was arrested in 2012 after a woman claimed Noe fondled her in a Manhattan bar. His conviction was upheld last March.
Noe, who owns a billboard business, donated to the mayor’s campaign and also says he introduced de Blasio to another businessman who helped fund the mayor’s trip to Israel last year.
As a Councilman, de Blasio stood with Noe to blast the Buildings Department for cracking down on advertising signs. While Noe strongly supported de Blasio, he never worked for City Hall.
Noe’s lawyer says that a bench warrant should never have been ordered. He added he is working on an emergency action to dismiss it, and that after finding new evidence he was confident the conviction would be overturned.
A spokesman for de Blasio’s campaign says, quote: “We are deeply troubled by this news and have zero tolerance for sexual assault. We will be returning Mr. Noe’s contributions.”