The misdemeanor charge of forcible touching against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is moving to be dismissed by the Albany County district attorney’s office.
“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. 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,” David Soares, a District Attorney said in a statement.
The complaint against Cuomo alleged that he placed his hand “under the blouse” of a woman and “onto her intimate body part” for “purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires” during an encounter at the governor’s mansion in 2020.
These allegations were made by Brittany Commisso, an executive assistant in his office, who shortly became public with her identity days after the complaint was issued. Commisso was not the only one who outlined allegations of harassment against the governor, as she was just one of the 11 women whose allegations led to Cuomo’s resignation. But Commisso’s allegations against Cuomo were the most serious, who, had he been convicted, could have faced up to a year in jail. But Cuomo denied all of the allegations.
As Soares’ office had not been consulted before the complaint was filed, and Soares saying the paperwork contained potential defects, he told the judge hearing the case that he wanted more time to weigh the prosecution.
After Sheriff Craig D. Apple Sr said he has presented evidence to help the court “determine the most appropriate legal pathway” for the Cuomo investigation, a judge signed off on the criminal complaint.
But as Apple did not expect the court to act so quickly, he later said that he planned on meeting with the district attorney before the complaint was issued.
“I can confirm only that in this case, my client had no control over the filing or prosecution of criminal charges. She had no authority or voice in those decisions. 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,” Brian Premo, Commisso’s attorney said.
On the other side, Cuomo’s attorney, Rita Glavin did not have an immediate comment, but she accused the sheriff in October of pushing ahead with the case, saying, “This is not professional law enforcement; this is politics.”