NEW YORK (Reuters)—A New York prosecutor will not pursue a misdemeanor sex crime charge against former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, saying he could not prove the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Albany County District Attorney David Soares said in a statement on Tuesday that his office had investigated the complaint made by former Cuomo aide Brittany Commisso and that he found her to be "cooperative and credible."
"I, like most New Yorkers, remain deeply troubled by allegations like the ones at issue here," his statement said. "Such conduct has no place in government or in any workplace."
Cuomo, a Democrat who ran New York for a decade, resigned in August after a state investigation concluded that he sexually harassed 11 women, most of them state employees.
Commisso, then a Cuomo aide in her early 30s, said Cuomo, 64, groped her breast at the Executive Mansion in Albany in 2020. In October, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple filed a criminal complaint in court that charged Cuomo with forcible touching.
The complaint appeared to take even the prosecutor by surprise, who asked that Cuomo's initial court appearance be postponed to Jan. 7, saying the sheriff had acted unilaterally and that his complaint was "potentially defective."
Cuomo's lawyer Rita Glavin did not respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for the county sheriff declined to comment. Cuomo has said he has never touched anyone inappropriately and that his efforts to be a friendly boss may have been mistaken for flirting.
Commisso's complaint was the most serious individual case discussed in the state report that led to Cuomo's downfall, although news reports said the U.S. Justice Department began investigating whether there was a pattern of Cuomo harassing female employees.
Other county prosecutors have investigated some of the other individual complaints and declined to bring charges.
Commisso's lawyer, Brian Premo, told the Albany Times Union, which first reported the district attorney's decision, that she intended to pursue a civil case against Cuomo.
(Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh)