Nov 5 (Reuters) – A New York county prosecutor on Friday requested a decide to delay for 2 months the arraignment of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on a misdemeanor sex offense charge, saying a neighborhood sheriff could have botched the case by dashing to file the criticism.
Cuomo resigned in August in the midst of his third time period as governor after a five-month official inquiry discovered that he had sexually harassed 11 girls.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple filed a “forcible touching” charge against Cuomo final month based mostly on one girl’s accusation that Cuomo groped her underneath her shirt on the Govt Mansion within the New York state capital of Albany.
However the charge against Cuomo was “potentially defective,” Albany County District Legal professional David Soares wrote in a letter to the decide dated Thursday as a result of it failed to incorporate a sworn assertion from the accuser.
Soares requested Albany Metropolis Court docket Decide Holly Trexler to delay Cuomo’s arraignment, which had been scheduled for Nov. 17, for 60 days to provide his workplace extra time to evaluate the case and probably keep away from a procedural dismissal. Cuomo’s lawyer supported the request, and the decide granted the delay, scheduling Cuomo’s arraignment for Jan. 7, a spokesperson for Soares mentioned.
Soares mentioned in his letter that his workplace had been investigating Cuomo for months when the sheriff stunned him with a legal submitting.
“We were in the middle of that investigation when the Sheriff unilaterally and inexplicably filed a complaint in this Court. Unfortunately the filings is this matter are potentially defective in that the police-officer-complainant failed to include a sworn statement by the victim such that the (state) could proceed with a prosecution,” the Soares letter mentioned.
Soares additionally mentioned his workplace was nonetheless reviewing a whole lot of hours of videotaped testimony and volumes of paperwork produced by the five-month probe that was performed by impartial attorneys underneath the route of state Legal professional Basic Tish James.
Sheriff Apple didn’t instantly reply to a Reuters request for remark. In feedback to the Albany Instances Union, he mentioned his workplace adopted correct procedures.
“There was sworn testimony included, and we followed the policies and protocols set to interview victims of sex crimes,” Apple mentioned.
Apple beforehand regretted that Soares and others had been stunned by his charge, saying his workplace filed the paperwork for evaluate and meant to fulfill with prosecutors to find out whether or not a legal arrest warrant or a legal summons can be issued.
The method, nevertheless, moved far more shortly than deliberate, and the data was leaked to the information media, he mentioned.
Apple additionally rejected Cuomo’s accusations of political motivations, saying his workplace had performed a “comprehensive and methodical” investigation.
Cuomo, who has maintained his innocence, mentioned he solely resigned with the intention to keep away from placing the state by way of the turmoil that will comply with his efforts to combat the fees.
If convicted on the misdemeanor charge, he would face a attainable sentence of as much as a yr in jail.
Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Enhancing by Daniel Wallis
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