Andrew Cuomo forcible touching charges dropped by Albany district attorney

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

ALBANY, N.Y. — An upstate New York prosecutor dropped forcible touching charges against Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday, just days before the former governor was scheduled to face a judge.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares said he chose not to pursue the misdemeanor charge — alleging the disgraced governor groped a staffer at the Executive Mansion — despite determining the complaint to be credible.

Soares said that “after review of all the available evidence we have concluded that we cannot meet our burden at trial.”

“As such we have notified the court that we are declining to prosecute this matter and requesting the charges filed by the Albany County sheriff be dismissed,” he added.

The decision, first reported by the Albany Times Union, comes just days before Cuomo was to be arraigned in Albany City Court.

Soares raised serious concerns about the charges and the manner in which they were filed by the Albany sheriff’s office months ago.

In November, Soares said that his office was reviewing the case and noted that the filing could be “potentially defective” after the sheriff’s office lodged the misdemeanor sex offense charges against Cuomo without alerting prosecutors.

Cuomo resigned in August following a bombshell report detailing multiple allegations of sexual harassment against him.

The criminal complaint alleged that the 64-year-old Democrat groped a female aide at the governor’s official residence in December 2020.

While the victim’s name is redacted in the filing, former Cuomo executive assistant Brittany Commisso has publicly accused the ex-governor of groping her.

The 33-year-old told independent investigators working under state Attorney General Letitia James that Cuomo grabbed her breast when they were alone in his second-floor office at the governor’s mansion late last year.

After shutting a door, “he came back to me and that’s when he put his hand up my blouse and cupped my breast over my bra,” she said. “I exactly remember looking down, seeing his hand, which is a large hand, thinking to myself, ‘Oh, my God. This is happening.’ ”

Cuomo has repeatedly denied ever touching anyone inappropriately, and his legal team has alleged that James was out to “ambush” him as she was poised to announce her own now-abandoned gubernatorial run.

Commisso’s attorney Brian Premo told the Times Union on Tuesday that he can only “confirm my client had no control over the filing or prosecution of criminal charges.”

“She had no authority or voice in those decisions,” Premo said in a statement. “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.”

Albany Sheriff Craig Apple has repeatedly defended his investigation and has blamed the courts for prematurely releasing the summons.

Soares’ decision comes after two other prosecutors declined to pursue charges against the ex-governor.

Last week, Westchester County District Attorney Miriam Rocah announced that Cuomo will not face criminal charges over two incidents in which he allegedly harassed and kissed women on the cheek.

Rocah said in a statement that an investigation by her office found “credible evidence” confirming the allegations, but that she would not pursue charges due to statutory legal requirements.

Long Island prosecutors likewise said Cuomo won’t face criminal charges after a female trooper assigned to his security detail said she felt “completely violated” by his unwanted touching at an event at Belmont Park in September 2019.

Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith said the allegations were credible and troubling but not criminal under state law.

A Cuomo spokesman said he had no comment on Soares’ decision.

———

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting