New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference on May 10, 2021 in New York City.
Mary Altaffer | Pool | Getty Images
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was charged with a misdemeanor sex-crime complaint alleging he forcibly touched a woman last Dec. 7 in the governor’s Executive Mansion in Albany.
The filing in Albany City Court on Thursday comes two months after Cuomo, 63, resigned in disgrace following accusations of sexual harassment against the three-term Democrat by multiple women.
The complaint says that Cuomo intentionally, “and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly place his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim …. and onto her intimate body party. Specifically, the victims left breast for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires.”
The woman’s name was redacted from a copy of the complaint released by a spokesman for the New York state courts system.
Forcible touching is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, Cuomo could be sentenced up to a year in prison, to up to three years of probation.
Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
It was not immediately clear when, or even if, Cuomo will be arrested.
The Albany Times Union reported Thursday that the criminal summons was issued “prematurely” and that sources said that “no final decision has been made by the [Albany County] sheriff’s department or the Albany County District County district attorney’s office on whether to formally file charges.”
The DA’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The sheriff’s office said he was not immediately available for comment.
A damning report issued by the state Attorney General’s office in August found Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 current and former staffers, including a state police trooper assigned to his protective detail and women outside of government. The report concluded Cuomo touched women without their consent, and made inappropriate comments toward numerous women.
Attorney General Letitia James, herself a Democrat, has said that Cuomo broke state and federal laws with his conduct.
At least five district attorney’s offices in New York state counties have been investigating possible crimes by Cuomo against some of those women.
Cuomo has strongly denied some of the allegations and said other claims of his behavior either mischaracterized or misinterpreted what he did.
Cuomo, whose father Mario Cuomo served three full terms as governor of New York, avoided possible impeachment by resigning.
Mariann Wang, a lawyer for two of the women who have accused Cuomo of misconduct, Alyssa McGrath and Virginia Limmiatis, in a statement said, “My clients are enormously grateful for the courage of the women who have come forward to speak the truth about Cuomo’s misconduct.”
“Cuomo is being held to account as he should be, including by being forced to answer a criminal charge,” Wang said. “We hope that all men who abuse their power by abusing women will see this and understand that there will be real consequences to their profoundly damaging behavior.”
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