Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will not be prosecuted for forcibly touching women, according to the Albany district attorney. The Albany City Court first hit him with the misdemeanor sex crime charge in October.
“While many have an opinion regarding the allegations against the former Governor, the Albany County DA’s Office is the only one who has a burden to prove the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt,” Albany County District Attorney David Soares said in a statement first reported by the Albany Times Union. “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.”
Cuomo was accused of groping aide Brittany Commisso in the complaint filed by an investigator for the Albany County Sheriff’s Department. The crime allegedly took place December 7, 2020 at the governor’s mansion, where he “intentionally and for no legitimate purpose” forced his hand under the victim’s blouse and onto her body.
“Specifically, the victim’s left breast for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires, all contrary to the provisions of the statute in such case made and provided,” the October complaint detailed.
Cuomo resigned in August after a five-month investigation by the State Attorney General’s office found that he had sexually harassed 11 current and former state employees. Then-Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul succeeded him.
Since allegations first began to surface in December 2020 and throughout the investigation, Cuomo has vehemently maintained his innocence.
“Let me say now that when government politicizes allegations and the headlines condemn without facts, you undermine the justice system and that doesn’t serve women and it doesn’t serve men or society,” he said during his farewell address in August. “I understand that there are moments of intense political pressure and media frenzy that cause a rush to judgment, but that is not right. It’s not fair or sustainable. Facts still matter.”