United States: Charges against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo dropped in two allegations of sexual harassment

Andrew Cuomo (REUTERS / Caitlin Ochs) (CAITLIN OCHS /)

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will not face criminal charges over allegations by two women – including a state trooper – that he planted unwanted kisses on their cheeks, a suburban prosecutor said Tuesday. It is the latest in a series of decisions on whether the sexual assault and harassment allegations against Cuomo will end up in criminal court.

Westchester County Prosecutor Mimi Rocah said that Although there was evidence to conclude that the conduct the women described did occur, she could not bring criminal cases for it. “In both cases, my office has determined that although the allegations and witnesses were credible, and the conduct disturbing, we are unable to bring criminal charges due to the legal requirements of New York criminal law,” Rocah said in a statement.

Cuomo had no immediate comment on the decision. The Democrat has denied sexually harassing anyone or touching anyone inappropriately and has said he does not recall touching the policewoman.

Multiple prosecutors across the state launched investigations after the state’s attorney general, Democrat Letitia James, chronicled the accusations of 11 women against Cuomo. The August report prompted his resignation from office, although he has attacked the findings as biased and inaccurate.

In October, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office filed a misdemeanor complaint of groping against Cuomo, but a week later the district attorney asked a judge for more time to evaluate the evidence. The prosecutor said the sheriff’s one-page criminal complaint, based on allegations by a woman who said Cuomo slipped his hand down her blouse and grabbed her breast at the governor’s mansion in late 2020, was “potentially flawed.” . At the request of the prosecutor, a court delayed Cuomo’s scheduled appearance until January 7.

Last week, a Long Island prosecutor said Cuomo would not face criminal charges after the same police as in the Westchester investigation said she felt “completely raped” by her Unwanted touch at an event in Belmont Park in September 2019. Nassau County Acting Prosecutor Joyce Smith said the allegations were credible and disturbing, but they were not criminal under state law.

The alleged Westchester County incident involving police occurred outside Cuomo’s then-Mount Kisco home, according to the district attorney’s office. The trooper told investigators that while parked in the driveway as part of Cuomo’s security detail in the summer of 2019, She asked the governor if she needed anything, and he responded by asking if he could kiss her.

“I remember just froze, in the back of my head, I’m like, ‘Oh, how do I say no politely? Because in my head, if I said no, he was going to take it out on the detail. And now I’m on the baddie list, “he told investigators, according to James’ report. So, according to her, she said, “Sure.” He kissed her on the cheek, while saying something like “Oh, I’m not supposed to do that.” or “Unless that’s against the rules,” she told investigators.

A male colleague told investigators that he witnessed the episode, according to the attorney general’s report. Police have not been publicly identified.

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a file photo (Photo: EFE / Spencer Platt)
Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a file photo (Photo: EFE / Spencer Platt) (SPENCER PLATT / POOL /)

In the other incident that Westchester prosecutors examined, Cuomo allegedly greeted a woman by grabbing her arm, pulling her toward him and kissing her on the cheek without asking her if she was okay. She was attending a press conference he gave at White Plains High School in June 2018. “I smiled nervously afterward. I had to put up with the comments of the attendees, “said the woman, Susan Iannucci, journalists at a virtual press conference in August.

Iannucci, a manager of a school office, said she came forward because she was horrified to see that Cuomo used a photo of the encounter in a compilation video he posted to argue that he commonly greeted people with kisses, touches and hugs “to convey warmth.”

(By David Porter and Jennifer Peltz – AP)

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