The only criminal charge against former New York governor Andrew Cuomo A New York judge has dismissed a sexual assault scandal at the end of his career.
Cuomo appeared virtually on Friday for an Albany court hearing, in which Judge Holly Trexler agreed to a joint request from prosecutors and defense attorneys to drop charges.
Cuomo filed a rape complaint by a local sheriff in October alleging he groped an aide at the executive mansion in December 2020, eight months before he resigned.
Albany County District Attorney David Soares told Judge Trexler this week that although the aide was credible, and some evidence supported his account, he believed he could not win a sentence in court.
Soares and Cuomo’s lawyer asked the judge to dismiss the complaint. With an objection already set, the judge said Cuomo and the lawyers must appear virtually for the hearing.
Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a virtual appearance on Friday before an Albany judge as the criminal solicitation charge against him was dismissed.
Judge Holly Trexler agreed to dismiss the case after requests by both prosecutors (bottom right) and Cuomo’s attorneys, citing a lack of evidence, were dropped.
Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a virtual appearance in front of an Albany judge on Friday as prosecutors dismissed the molestation charge against him.
The judge presided over the proceedings from the Albany Courtroom with lawyers participating via videoconferencing.
The charges against Cuomo were based on allegations by Brittany Comiso, who said that Cuomo slid his hand over her blouse and grabbed her breast while they were alone in an office in the mansion.
Her testimony was most damning in a report released in August by Democratic State Attorney General Letitia James, which concluded that Cuomo had sexually assaulted 11 women.
Cuomo resigned later that month. He has called the report unwarranted and vehemently denied the allegation of groping.
Soares has said he was surprised when a fellow Democrat, Sheriff Craig Apple, filed a complaint of forcible touching without consulting the prosecutor’s office.
The charges against Cuomo were based on allegations by Brittany Comiso (left), who said that Cuomo slid his hand over her blouse and grabbed her breast when they were alone.
The exterior of the Albany County City Court is shown, where former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will virtually appear for a court session before Judge Holly Trexler.
Soares called it “potentially flawed” and went on to delay Cuomo’s indictment, originally scheduled for November.
In a letter to Trexler on Tuesday, Soares said, “The statutory elements of New York law make this case impossible to prove.” He said multiple government inquiries into Cuomo’s conduct had created “technical and procedural hurdles” for prosecutors with regard to obligations to disclose evidence for the defense.
Some legal experts said Soares’ decision illustrated the difficulties of prosecuting sex offense charges. But others said he should have moved on if he believed the accuser to be credible.
Comiso was among the critics.
Comiso said in one, “My disheartening experience of being re-victimized with the failure to prosecute a serial sexual abuser, no matter how much the crime, is still sad that victims are afraid to come forward, especially those in power.” against the people.” Statement to the Times Union of Albany.
Reporters work on live news shots outside the Albany County City Court, where former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will appear virtually before Judge Holly Trexler for a court session.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple speaks during a news conference at the Albany County Sheriff’s Office after a criminal complaint was filed against Andrew Cuomo in October
Soares said in a radio interview on Friday that the attorney general’s investigation did not have the same legal requirements as the criminal case, and added that prosecutors cannot be influenced by public sentiment or ‘passion’.
‘It is not for me to engage in any kind of debate with people who are not equipped with the same amount of information or obligations as I have. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but there is only one person with the burden of proof, and that is me,’ he told WAMC/Northeast Public Radio Network.
“I think it’s a more dangerous situation to have a person in my position who will go ahead with matters, for fear of public backlash,” he said.
Two prosecutors in the suburbs of New York City announced separately last month that Cuomo would not face charges involving other women who said they were subjected to unwanted kissing or touching.