New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo/Handout via REUTERS

Former New York Governor Cuomo charged with misdemeanor sex offense

NEW YORK, Oct 28 (Reuters) – A legal criticism charging former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo with a misdemeanor sex offense was filed on Thursday in a court docket in Albany, the state capital, the primary prosecution stemming from a misconduct scandal that led to his resignation.

The submitting from the Albany County Sheriff’s Workplace, accusing Cuomo of groping a girl underneath her shirt, was confirmed by a spokesman for the New York state courts, Lucian Chalfen, in an emailed assertion referring to the alleged offense as a “sex crime.”

Cuomo, 63, who stepped down two months in the past underneath mounting requires his ouster from distinguished fellow Democrats, together with President Joe Biden, is to seem in court docket on Nov. 17 underneath a summons issued on Thursday however not but served, the Albany Occasions Union newspaper reported.

Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, stated in an announcement to native media shops that he was harmless and questioned Sheriff Craig Apple’s dealing with of the case, saying he “didn’t even tell the district attorney what he was doing.”

“This is not professional law enforcement; this is politics,” she stated.

The district legal professional for Albany County, David Soares, issued a separate assertion suggesting that the sheriff had acted independently of native prosecutors.

“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,” Soares said. He declined to remark additional.

A replica of the criticism posted on-line by WNBC-TV in New York stated Cuomo engaged within the misdemeanor offense of “forcible touching” on Dec. 7, 2020, on the governor’s Government Mansion by putting “his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim … and onto her intimate body part.”

The criticism goes on to say that Cuomo fondled the lady’s breast “for purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires,” however the identify of the lady has been redacted.

The week previous to his resignation, former gubernatorial staffer Brittany Commisso filed a legal report with the Albany County Sheriff’s Workplace alleging that the then-governor of groped her breast on the Government Mansion in Albany late final yr.

The New York Publish stated Cuomo was anticipated to be arrested subsequent week and charged with a misdemeanor within the alleged groping of a former aide.

It stated the anticipated cost resulted from a probe by the district legal professional, citing a supply briefed on the matter.

Cuomo resigned as governor in August after over 10 years in workplace, following a probe detailed in a 168-page report that discovered he had sexually harassed 11 ladies. learn extra

New York Lawyer Normal Letitia James stated a five-month impartial investigation concluded that Cuomo had engaged in conduct that violated a number of federal and state legal guidelines. Her workplace didn’t pursue legal costs, however native prosecutors in a number of counties, together with Albany, stated after the report’s launch that they have been trying into the matter and requested proof from the impartial inquiry.

“The criminal charges brought today against Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report,” James stated in an announcement on Thursday.

The previous governor has lengthy denied wrongdoing, although he has stated he accepted “full responsibility” for what he known as ill-conceived makes an attempt to be affectionate or humorous.

“In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn,” he stated in saying his resignation.

Cuomo’s exit capped a months-long downfall, derailing the political profession of a person as soon as thought-about a potential U.S. presidential contender, and whose every day briefings early within the COVID-19 pandemic raised his nationwide profile.

Cuomo’s resignation spared him from potential removing from workplace by impeachment proceedings within the state legislature, which appeared doubtless although that physique is dominated by fellow Democrats.

The impartial investigation discovered that Cuomo groped, kissed or made improperly suggestive feedback to ladies, together with present and former authorities employees, and retaliated towards at the least one lady who accused him of sexual misconduct.

Like his father Mario Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo was elected to 3 four-year phrases as governor.

He was hailed as a nationwide chief final yr on the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic after delivering every day information conferences as his state turned the U.S. epicenter of the general public well being disaster.

Reporting by Jonathen Stempel; extra reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; modifying by Tim Ahmann, Aurora Ellis, Marguerita Choy and Gerry Doyle

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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