Andrew Cuomo Charged With Sex Crime

Probe found that former NY gov sexually harassed 11 women

Former New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D.) / Getty Images
October 28, 2021

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) — A criminal complaint charging former New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D.) with a misdemeanor sex offense has been filed in a court in Albany, the state's capital, a spokesman for the New York state courts said on Thursday.

"As this is a sex crime, a redacted complaint will be available shortly," the spokesman, Lucian Chalfen, said in an emailed statement.

Representatives for Cuomo were not immediately available for comment.

A copy of the complaint posted online by NBC's affiliate station in New York said Cuomo engaged in the misdemeanor offense of "forcible touching" on Dec. 7, 2020, at the governor's executive mansion by placing "his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim … and onto her intimate body part."

The complaint goes on to say that Cuomo groped the woman's breast "for purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires," but the name of the alleged victim has been redacted.

The New York Post said Cuomo was expected to be arrested next week and charged with a misdemeanor in the alleged groping of a former aide.

It said the anticipated charge resulted from a probe by Albany County district attorney David Soares (D.), citing a source briefed on the matter.

Soares's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cuomo resigned as governor in August after 10-1/2 years in office, following a probe that found he had sexually harassed 11 women.

New York attorney general Letitia James (D.) said a five-month independent investigation concluded that Cuomo had engaged in conduct that violated federal and state laws.

The former Democratic governor has long denied wrongdoing, though he has said he accepted "full responsibility" for what he called ill-conceived attempts to be affectionate or humorous.

Cuomo's resignation capped a months-long downfall, derailing the political career of a man once considered a possible U.S. presidential contender, and whose daily briefings early in the COVID-19 pandemic raised his national profile.

Cuomo's resignation spared him from possible removal from office through impeachment proceedings in the state legislature, which appeared likely even though that body is dominated by fellow Democrats.

The independent investigation found that Cuomo groped, kissed or made improperly suggestive comments to women, including current and former government workers, and retaliated against at least one woman who accused him of sexual misconduct.

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

He was hailed as a national leader last year at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic after delivering daily news conferences as his state became the U.S. epicenter of the public health crisis.

The week prior to his resignation, one of Cuomo's accusers, Brittany Commisso, filed a criminal report with the Albany County Sheriff's Office accusing the then-governor of groping her breast at the Executive Mansion in Albany last November.

(Reporting by Jonathen Stempel. Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles. Editing by Tim Ahmann and Marguerita Choy.)

Update 5:25 p.m.: This story has been updated with additional information from Reuters.