A senior New York State prosecutor said on Tuesday that he would drop a criminal charge after he concluded that he could not meet the burden of proof in court, accusing former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of groping for an assistant.
Albany County District Attorney David Suarez’s decision was made three days before the former Democratic governor should answer the misdemeanor charge before the judge, and it was made after other state attorneys decided to drop similar charges.
Suarez said in a statement: “Although we found that the complainant in this case was cooperative and credible, after reviewing all available evidence, we concluded that we could not bear the burden of the trial.”
Suarez said he was “deeply disturbed” by the allegation, but requested that the Albany Sheriff’s complaint filed in October be dismissed.
Como Resign A state after August investigation It concluded that he sexually harassed 11 women. He served as governor of the fourth most populous state in the United States for 10 years.While avoiding criminal charges, Cuomo still faces the possibility of Civil claims Due to allegations of other legal issues.
Albany’s complaint did not mention the woman’s name, but she claimed to be Brittany Comiso, one of Como’s administrative assistants at the state government residence.
Comiso “has no control over the filing or prosecution of criminal charges. She has no power or voice in these decisions,” her lawyer Brian Premo said in a statement on Monday.
He added: “The only power she has is her determination to continue to speak the truth and seek justice in proper civil proceedings, and she will do so in due course.”
Comiso said that at the end of 2020, when they were alone in the office of the governor’s residence in Albany, Cuomo reached out to her shirt and grabbed her breasts.
Her testimony was included in a report issued by the state’s Attorney General Letitia James in August, which concluded that Cuomo had sexually harassed multiple women.Como has dispute The reported findings are inaccurate and biased.
“I know, he also knows, it was wrong,” Comiso told investigators in the Attorney General’s Office. “And I never invite it in any way, shape or form, nor do I ask for it. I don’t want it.”
Cuomo strongly denies groping Comiso.
“I will have to lose my mind to do something – something like this. Touching a woman’s breasts and making myself vulnerable to women’s harm because of such accusations will be an act of insanity,” Cuomo told the lawyer. , Investigating allegations of sexual harassment for the attorney general and fellow Democrats.
The developments in Albany occurred after two prosecutors in the suburbs of New York City separately announced that Cuomo would not face criminal charges for allegations involving other women.
A Long Island prosecutor announced on December 23 that a female state police officer at Cuomo’s security details told state investigators that he stroked her abdomen during an event held in Belmont Park in September 2019 After that, there will be no charges.
Five days later, the District Attorney in Westchester County announced that Cuomo would not face charges against the same soldier and another woman’s charges that the former governor kissed them on the cheek.
In both cases, prosecutors stated that the allegations were credible, but they could not pursue criminal responsibility.
On Monday, one of Cuomo’s lawyers said that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office had told him that it had concluded its investigation into Cuomo’s handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic. The office declined to comment and did not disclose what it is investigating.
But Cuomo faces public scrutiny of his government report Number of deaths in nursing home residents When the pandemic broke out in 2020, due to an order, families refused to accept recovered hospitalized patients because they had COVID-19.
At the same time, the state attorney general has been investigating Cuomo’s use of assistants to help write and promote his epidemiological memoirs. Cuomo said they voluntarily use their personal time.
The New York State Ethics Commission ordered Cuomo last month repay The book is paid more than $5 million and is titled “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”