Albany DA Announces Andrew Cuomo Will Not Be Prosecuted for Alleged Sexual Harassment

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Posted: Jan 04, 2022 9:15 PM
Albany DA Announces Andrew Cuomo Will Not Be Prosecuted for Alleged Sexual Harassment

Source: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, Pool

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will not be prosecuted on charges of sexual misconduct, the Albany County district attorney announced Tuesday.

"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," District Attorney David Soares said in a press release. "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."

"I, like most New Yorkers, remain deeply troubled by allegations like the ones at issue here," he continued. "Such conduct has no place in government or in any workplace. Although avenues for criminal prosecution in these cases are sometimes limited, I encourage victims of workplace harassment and abuse to continue to come forward and bring these issues to light so that these important discussions can continue."

The release added that the decision to decline criminal prosecution against the disgraced former governor is "unrelated to any possible civil liability, which is beyond the scope of a District Attorney’s jurisdiction."

Cuomo was scheduled to be arraigned in court on Friday.

Brittany Commisso, a former Cuomo staffer who filed the criminal complaint against Cuomo with the Albany Sheriff’s Office last year for allegedly groping her at the governor’s mansion, was told Monday by the Albany district attorney's office that the case would not be prosecuted by the office, the New York Post reported.

"In this case, my client had no control over the filing or prosecution of criminal charges," Commisso’s lawyer, Brian Premo, told the paper. "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."

Cuomo announced his resignation in August amid threats of impeachment after a report from New York state Attorney General Letitia James' office concluded that he had sexually harassed 11 women, a violation of state and federal law. Cuomo has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.

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This comes after the Manhattan district attorney's office announced Monday that it had closed its investigation into Cuomo for New York's coronavirus nursing home scandal and that he will not be charged.

"I was contacted today by the head of the Elder Care Unit from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office who informed me they have closed its investigation involving the Executive Chamber and nursing homes," Elkan Abramowitz, a former federal prosecutor hired to represent Cuomo while he was still in office, said in a statement. "I was told that after a thorough investigation — as we have said all along — there was no evidence to suggest that any laws were broken."