Prosecutors said that they did not know the document was filed. The woman's attorney stated that she had not been allowed to make a decision on whether to proceed with the case.
Cuomo was accused of placing his hand underneath a woman's blouse on December 7, 2020. Although the name of the woman was not given, Cuomo was publicly accused last year of having groped Brittany Commisso at Albany's executive mansion.
David Soares, the office of the county's District Attorney, was involved in the investigation and would handle any prosecution. However, he issued a statement stating that it was caught off guard by this filing.
It stated that Andrew Cuomo was the subject of a criminal complaint filed by the Albany County Sheriff's Office. "The Office of Court Administration made the filing public. "Our office will not comment further on this matter."
According to The Times Union newspaper, unidentified officials stated that the complaint was issued "prematurely" without any final decision regarding whether Cuomo would be facing charges.
Although the Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple did not directly address this report, he confirmed in a statement that a criminal summons had been issued by Albany City Court ordering Cuomo's appearance at 2:30 on Nov. 17.
According to the statement, it was court officials who issued the summons, and not prosecutors or law enforcement agencies. According to the statement, sheriff's investigators determined that there was "probable cause to present evidence" to the court for their review in order to determine the best legal path forward on the investigation.
Rita Glavin, Cuomo’s lawyer, stated in a statement, that the Democrat had never assaulted anyone, and that the sheriff's motivations were "patently inappropriate."
"Sheriff Apple didn’t tell the District Attorney anything about what he was doing. Apple's actions are not surprising considering (1) his August 7 press conference, where he basically pronounced Governor guilty before launching an investigation and (2) the leakage of grand jury information by his Office. This is politics, not professional law enforcement.
Forcible touching can result in up to one year imprisonment and up to three years probation in New York. However, the court may impose lower penalties such as no jail time.
Cuomo's executive assistant, Commisso, claims he groped her while they were alone in an Albany office at the governor’s mansion.
As she was about to leave, Cuomo hugged her and pulled her in. According to her account, Cuomo responded to her when she said, "You're going to get our in trouble." and closed the door. According to Commisso, Cuomo pulled her blouse up and grabbed her breasts.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied that he groped her and once said, "I would need to lose my mind for such a thing."
Brian Premo, Commisso's lawyer, stated in a statement to The Times Union that she had not been consulted regarding the criminal complaint.
Premo stated that my client understood that the district attorney's offices had agreed with the sheriff's departments that they would conduct an impartial, thorough and objective evaluation of the case. Only after the investigation was complete, she could speak to my client so she could make an informed decision about whether to proceed as a victim or not. She was also informed via media about the recent filing, just like the district attorney's.
Unless victims are willing to share their stories publicly, the Associated Press won't name them. Commisso did this in interviews.
Commisso filed a complaint to the sheriff in August. This was the same week that a report by state Attorney General Letitia Jam concluded Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 females. The report also includes allegations of Cuomo asking inappropriate questions about sex or dating, as well as planting unwanted kisses.
Cuomo announced his resignation one week after the publication of the report. This was a major setback for Cuomo, who had been seen as an example of solid competence in his daily COVID-19 briefings in 2020. Cuomo attacked the report of the attorney general as biased and inaccurate.
James's office is not involved with the criminal investigation. James issued a statement stating that her civil probe was conducted "without fear nor favor."
She stated that Mr. Cuomo's criminal charges for forcible touching were a further validation of our findings.
Multiple people who know James' plans for the future have informed The Associated Press that James is close to announcing a run as governor.
According to the complaint filed by the sheriff’s department investigator, evidence in the case consisted of police BlackBerry messages, cell phones records, building security records and Cuomo’s flight records. Also, Cuomo sent a text from his phone. The officer signed the complaint Monday, and the court stamped it as received Thursday.
Glavin, Cuomo’s attorney, claimed that records prove they were unlikely to have been alone during the time in question. Rich Azzopardi (Cuomo's spokesperson) ridiculed Thursday’s twist of events.
"Accidentally" filing a criminal case without consent and notification is not funny. This process smells of Albany politics, and maybe worse. No one is surprised that the AG is about to announce his run for governor, as was predicted. He said that the truth about the cowboy sheriff's past will be revealed.
In order to determine if the allegations can lead to criminal charges, Oswego, Manhattan and suburban Westchester district attorneys also requested investigative materials from Oswego's inquiry.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee is currently completing an extensive impeachment investigation into Cuomo, which began before he resigned. They also looked at Cuomo’s handling of COVID-19 data, and attempts to rush COVID-19 testing in order to get into Cuomo’s inner circle for spring 2020.