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Politics

Cuomo charged with misdemeanor sex crime

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Office of the Governor
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A spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration, Lucian Chalfin, confirms that a misdemeanor complaint against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been filed in Albany City Court.

The document, obtained by WNYC Radio, says that on Dec. 7, 2021 the governor "did knowingly and intentionally commit the Class A misdemeanor act of forcible touching" by forcibly placing his hand under a victim's blouse, groping her.

The document didn’t name the woman, but Cuomo had been publicly accused of groping an aide, Brittany Commisso, at the executive mansion in Albany last year.

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WNYC
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A copy of the complaint against former Governor Andrew Cuomo, accusing him of groping a woman at the Executive Mansion

The Albany County district attorney’s office and Albany County Sheriff did not immediately return messages but the Times Union, of Albany, quoted unnamed officials as saying the complaint had been issued “prematurely” by the court and that a final decision hadn’t been made about whether Cuomo would face charges.

In September, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple announced that his office was investigating a criminal complaint from Commisso, Cuomo's former aide, who accused her boss of forcibly groping her under her shirt when she visited him at the governor’s mansion to help him fix a problem with his phone.

In early August, a report by state Attorney General Tish James found Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, including Commisso. Cuomo denied that he sexually harassed or assaulted anyone, but resigned from office on Aug. 24.

Cuomo’s lawyer and spokesperson didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.

Cuomo has adamantly denied groping her, saying once, “I would have to lose my mind to do such a thing.” He has described the event in question, saying he pulled Commisso in for a hug as she prepared to leave the governor’s office at the mansion.

When she told him “you’re going to get us in trouble,” Cuomo replied, “I don’t care” and slammed the door shut, according to her account.

WBFO doesn’t usually identify alleged sexual assault victims unless they decide to tell their stories publicly, as Commisso has done in newspaper and television interviews.

Commisso was referred to as “Executive Assistant #1” in James' report, but publicly revealed her identity after its release. She is the only woman mentioned in the attorney general’s report known to have filed a criminal complaint.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple at the time promised a “very comprehensive” investigation in partnership Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

Cuomo attorney Rita Glavin has said that Commisso’s “story changed over time.”