Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Charged With Forced Touching In Criminal Complaint

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ALBANY, NY – A criminal complaint filed by a police investigator in an Albany court accused former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of committing a sexual offense, though it was reported Thursday that the document had been submitted in error.

The one-page document, filed by an investigator with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, accused Cuomo of putting his hand under a woman’s shirt on December 7, 2020. The document did not name the woman but Cuomo had been publicly accused of groping. an assistant, Brittany Commisso, at the Executive Mansion in Albany last year on this date.

The Albany County District Attorney’s Office and the Albany County Sheriff did not immediately return messages, but the Times Union, of Albany, cited unnamed officials saying the complaint was filed “prematurely” and that a final decision had not been made by prosecutors as to whether Cuomo would face charges.

Cuomo’s attorney and spokesperson did not immediately return messages seeking comment. A lawyer for Commisso also did not return a message.

Commisso, who was Cuomo’s executive assistant, says he ran a hand under her shirt and stroked her when they were alone in a room in the governor’s mansion in Albany.

She said Cuomo pulled her in for a hug as she prepared to leave her office at the mansion. When she told him, “You’re going to get us in trouble,” Cuomo replied, “I don’t care,” and slammed the door, according to her account. Commisso said Cuomo slid his hand over her blouse and grabbed her chest.

Cuomo categorically denied groping her, once saying, “I would have to lose my mind to do such a thing.”

The Associated Press generally does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault unless they decide to tell their stories publicly, as Commisso has done in newspaper and television interviews.

Commisso filed a complaint with the county sheriff in August of the same week, a report by state attorney general Letitia James found the Democratic governor sexually harassed 11 women and engaged in retaliation against one of his accusers. Other accusations outlined in the report range from planting unwanted kisses to asking unwelcome personal questions about sex and dating.

Cuomo announced his resignation a week after the dazzling report was released, marking a dramatic fall for the third-term governor who had been seen as a beacon of solid competence during his daily COVID-19 briefings in 2020. He attacked the report of the Attorney General as inaccurate and biased.

James, whose office is not involved in the criminal investigation into Cuomo, released a statement saying his civilian investigation was conducted “without fear or favor.”

“The criminal charges brought against Mr. Cuomo today for forced touching further validate the findings of our report,” she said.

James is reportedly set to announce that she will run for governor, several people with knowledge of her plans told The Associated Press.

Commisso was referred to as “Executive Assistant No. 1” in the report, but publicly revealed her identity after it was published. She is the only woman mentioned in the attorney general’s report known to have filed a criminal complaint.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple at the time promised a “very full” investigation in partnership with Albany County Prosecutor David Soares.

Cuomo’s attorney, Rita Glavin, said “Commisso’s story has changed over time” and said records showed the two men were unlikely to have spent time alone during the period. in question.

The complaint filed by the Sheriff’s Department investigator said evidence in the case included BlackBerry messages from the police, cell phone tapes, building security tapes and a text message from Cuomo’s cell phone. The complaint was signed by the officer on Monday and stamped by the court as received Thursday.

District attorneys for Oswego, Manhattan, suburbs of Westchester and Nassau counties also said they requested investigative documents from the attorney general’s investigation to see if any of the allegations could lead to charges. criminal.

Additionally, the Assembly Judiciary Committee is completing a broad impeachment inquiry for Cuomo that began before he resigned. They were also examining the administration’s handling of COVID-19 data and efforts to speed up COVID-19 testing for Cuomo’s inner circle in the spring of 2020.

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