Cuomo Accused of Forcible Touching in Criminal Complaint

(ALBANY, N.Y.) — A criminal complaint filed by a police investigator with a court in Albany has accused former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was accused of misdemeanor sexual crime. However, there are reports that it might have been an error.

The brief complaint, filed by an investigator with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, accused Cuomo of putting his hand under a woman’s shirt on Dec. 7, 2020. The document didn’t name the woman but Cuomo had been publicly accused of groping an aide, Brittany Commisso, at the executive mansion in Albany last year.

The Albany County district attorney’s office and Albany County Sheriff did not immediately return messages but the Times Union, of Albany, quoted unnamed officials as saying the complaint had been issued “prematurely” and that a final decision hadn’t been made about whether Cuomo would face charges.
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Cuomo’s lawyer and spokesperson didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.

Commisso, who was an executive assistant for Cuomo, says he reached under her shirt and fondled her when they were alone in a room at the governor’s mansion in Albany late last year.

She said Cuomo pulled her in for a hug as she prepared to leave the governor’s 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 shut, according to her account. Commisso stated that Cuomo reached for her breasts and pulled his shirt up.

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

The Associated Press doesn’t usually identify alleged sexual assault victims unless they decide to tell their stories publicly, as Commisso has done in newspaper and television interviews.

Commisso lodged a complaint in August with the county Sheriff. In the same week, a state attorney general report concluded that 11 women were sexually harassed by the Democratic governor and sought to retaliate. The report also includes allegations of Commisso planting unwanted kisses and asking inappropriate questions regarding sex, dating and sex.

Cuomo quit the governorship a week following the publication of the blistering reports. This is a major setback for Cuomo, who was seen as an example of solid competence in his COVID-19 briefings each day from 2020.

Commisso was referred to as “Executive Assistant #1” in the report but publicly revealed her identity after its release. 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 comprehensive” investigation in partnership Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

Cuomo attorney Rita Glavin has said that Commisso’s “story changed over time.”

The complaint filed by the sheriff’s department investigator said evidence in the case included police BlackBerry messages, cell phone records, building security records and a text message from Cuomo’s mobile phone. As received by the court, the complaint was signed Monday by the officer.

District attorneys in Oswego, Manhattan, suburban Westchester and Nassau counties also had said they asked for investigative materials from the attorney general’s inquiry to see if any of the allegations could result in criminal charges.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee has completed a broad-based investigation into Cuomo’s impeachment that started before his resignation. The also were looking at the administration’s handling of COVID-19 data and efforts to rush COVID-19 testing for Cuomo’s inner circle in spring 2020.


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