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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
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Albany DA drops harassment case against Cuomo

Prosecutors in the state capital cited poor odds of convicting the former New York governor of the misdemeanor charge that he groped a former aide's breast inside the executive mansion.

ALBANY (CN) — A judge speedily dismissed a misdemeanor charge against Andrew Cuomo then issued an order sealing the matter after Albany County prosecutors formally dropped allegations that the disgraced former New York governor groped an aide in the Executive Mansion.

“This court is acutely aware of the fact that the district attorney’s office has unfettered discretion to determine whether to prosecute a particular person or case,” Judge Holly Trexler said on Friday.

During a 10-minute virtual conference hindered by choppy audio-feedback Friday, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer McCanney said her office had reviewed all of the available evidence and “concluded we cannot successfully secure a conviction in this case.”

“We do not oppose defense counsel’s motion,” McCanney said.

The former governor was shown very briefly on screen alongside his personal attorney Rita Glavin, and did not speak.

“Today, reason and the rule of law prevailed, not politics, rhetoric, or mob mentality," Glavin said at a press conference shortly after Judge Trexler's dismissal. 

Cuomo’s counsel waived a reading of the misdemeanor complaint on Friday.

Earlier this week, Albany County District Attorney David Soares announced he couldn’t prove the case in court. 

“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,” Soares said in a statement. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James described the allegations last August when she released the results of her five-month sexual misconduct investigation into Cuomo.

Days after James said 11 women’s accounts were credible, the former executive assistant to the governor who says Cuomo groped her identified herself as Brittany Commisso and filed criminal a criminal complaint.

The Albany county sheriff's office in turn charged Cuomo with a class A misdemeanor of forcible touching, alleging that he touched the victim’s left breast “for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires.”

Soares has said he was caught by surprise when Sheriff Craig Apple, a fellow Democrat, filed the forcible touching complaint without consulting the prosecutor’s office. Soares called it “potentially defective” and moved to delay Cuomo’s arraignment, originally set for November.

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Categories / Criminal, Government

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