Former New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D) was charged on Thursday, Oct. 28, over a sexual misconduct complaint.
Cuomo was charged with a misdemeanor sex crime of forcible touching following a criminal complaint filed in Albany City Court, NBC New York reported.
The criminal complaint alleges Cuomo “did intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly place his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim…and onto her intimate body part.”
This August, the ex-governor resigned from his post over increasing scandals of inappropriate behavior with at least 11 women stemming from a state attorney general’s report. Upon his departure, he denied any wrongdoing.
The complaint alleged Cuomo on Dec. 7 last year forcefully groped a female aide in the governor’s residence in Albany under her blouse for 16 minutes between 3:51 p.m. and 4:07 p.m.
The complaint also listed a chain of evidence collected from cell phone records, state Capitol swipes, state police records, and text messages from Cuomo’s cell phone, in addition to details conveyed in the state attorney general’s report.
NBC New York noted Cuomo has received a summons and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 17 at 2:30 p.m., where he will be fingerprinted and photographed. The New York Post said he could be arrested as soon as next week.
Although the victim’s name has been protected, the date of the incident has brought in speculations that it was Brittany Commisso who previously alleged that Cuomo inappropriately touched her at his mansion last November.
The charges were brought about following an investigation launched by Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple’s office on Aug. 5. Around that time, Commisso reported her allegations against Cuomo to the office.
While it remains inconclusive if the victim was Commisso, the Thursday announcement was made unprecedentedly out of hers and local prosecutors’ knowledge.
“Like the rest of the public, we were surprised to learn today that a criminal complaint was filed in Albany City Court by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office against Andrew Cuomo,” said David Soares, district attorney for Albany County.
Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, and his spokesperson Rich Azzopardi said the unilateral move was political.
“Sheriff Apple didn’t even tell the District Attorney what he was doing. … This is not professional law enforcement; this is politics,” Glavin said while continuing to insist on her client’s innocence.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, who authored the scathing report against Cuomo’s misconduct, said Thursday that “the criminal charges brought today against Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report.”