Groping Charge Dropped Against Former NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Albany’s high prosecutor mentioned Tuesday he’s dropping a prison cost accusing former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of fondling an aide.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares’ determination comes three days earlier than the Democratic ex-governor was as a result of reply the misdemeanor cost in court docket.

“While we found the complainant in this case cooperative and credible, after review of all the available evidence, we have concluded that we cannot meet our burden at trial,” Soares mentioned in an announcement. He mentioned he was “deeply troubled” by the allegation however was requesting that a criticism that the county sheriff filed in October be dismissed.

Albany’s top prosecutor said Tuesday he is dropping a criminal charge accusing former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of fondling an aide. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Albany’s high prosecutor mentioned Tuesday he’s dropping a prison cost accusing former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of fondling an aide. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Carlo Allegri through Reuters

The prison criticism accused Cuomo of forcible touching. Soares had prompt the criticism was problematic.

The sheriff’s criticism didn’t title the girl, however she has recognized herself as Brittany Commisso. She was one in all Cuomo’s government assistants earlier than he resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations in August.

Commisso “had no control over the filing or prosecution of criminal charges. She had no authority or voice in those decisions,” her lawyer, Brian Premo, mentioned in an announcement Monday.

“The only thing she has any power over is her resolution to continue to speak the truth and seek justice in an appropriate civil action, which she will do in due course,” he added.

There was no quick remark from Cuomo, who resigned in August.

The Times-Union of Albany first reported that the cost can be dropped.

Commisso says Cuomo slid his hand up her shirt and grabbed her breast after they have been alone in an workplace on the governor’s mansion in Albany in late 2020.

Her testimony was included in a report, launched in August by state Attorney General Letitia James, that concluded Cuomo sexually harassed 11 ladies. Cuomo introduced his resignation per week after the discharge of the report, which he has attacked as inaccurate and biased.

“I knew, and he knew, too, that that was wrong,” Commisso informed investigators for the legal professional normal’s workplace. “And that I in no way, shape or form invited that, nor did I ask for it. I didn’t want it.”

Cuomo has vehemently denied groping Commisso.

“I would have to lose my mind to do some — such a thing. It would be an act of insanity to touch a woman’s breast and make myself vulnerable to a woman for such an accusation,” Cuomo informed attorneys investigating sexual harassment accusations for the legal professional normal, a fellow Democrat.

Cuomo legal professional Rita Glavin has mentioned that Commisso had an “evolving version” of what occurred.

In October, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple’s workplace filed a prison criticism towards Cuomo accusing him of forcible touching in reference to Commisso’s allegation.

Soares later criticized Apple for “unilaterally and inexplicably” submitting a criticism with out first consulting together with his workplace. The prosecutor criticized Apple’s submitting as “potentially defective” in asking a decide to delay Cuomo’s arraignment from November to January.

Apple has mentioned the court docket paperwork was processed rapidly, earlier than he had an opportunity to seek the advice of with the district legal professional. But he mentioned he was assured within the power of the case.

The Associated Press doesn’t determine individuals who say they’ve been sexually assaulted until they determine to inform their tales publicly, as Commisso has accomplished in interviews.

Several prosecutors across the state launched investigations after the legal professional normal’s report.

The growth in Albany comes after two prosecutors within the New York City suburbs individually introduced that Cuomo wouldn’t face prison fees for allegations involving different ladies.

A Long Island prosecutor introduced on Dec. 23 that there can be no fees after a feminine state trooper on Cuomo’s safety element informed state investigators that he ran his hand throughout her stomach at an occasion at Belmont Park in September 2019.

Five days later, the district legal professional in Westchester County introduced Cuomo wouldn’t face fees stemming from allegations from that very same trooper and one other lady that the previous governor planted undesirable kisses on their cheeks.

In each situations, the prosecutors mentioned the allegations have been credible, however that they might not pursue prison fees.

On Monday, a lawyer for Cuomo mentioned the Manhattan district legal professional’s workplace informed him it had closed an investigation into how Cuomo’s workplace dealt with nursing houses in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. The workplace declined to remark.

The workplace didn’t disclose what it was wanting into, however Cuomo confronted scrutiny over his administration’s reporting of nursing home residents’ deaths and over an order that barred the houses from turning away recovering hospital sufferers as a result of that they had COVID-19.

Federal prosecutors have additionally been investigating the nursing home demise information subject.

The state legal professional normal, in the meantime, has been investigating Cuomo’s use of aides to assist craft and promote his pandemic memoir. Cuomo mentioned they volunteered, utilizing their private time.

Associated Press author Jennifer Peltz contributed from New York.

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