Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been charged with forcible touching, a misdemeanor intercourse crime, in response to paperwork filed in an Albany Metropolis Court docket on Thursday.
The felony criticism alleges that Cuomo positioned his hand “below the shirt” of the sufferer and “onto her intimate physique half” for “functions of degrading and gratifying his sexual needs.” The incident allegedly occurred on Dec. 7, 2020, on the governor’s mansion.
A spokesperson for Cuomo didn’t instantly return a request for remark.
The cost is a category A misdemeanor, which is punishable by as much as a yr in jail or three years probation.
A 165-page report issued by state Legal professional Normal Letitia James in August alleged that Cuomo had sexually harassed or inappropriately touched 11 ladies, together with an government assistant who described being groped on the governor’s mansion.
James’ report mentioned Cuomo’s interplay with the assistant “escalated” over time to “extra intimate bodily contact” together with common hugs and kisses on the cheek and at the least one kiss on the lips. The interactions culminated within the incident on the mansion, when Cuomo allegedly “reached below her shirt and grabbed her breast,” the report alleged.
The felony criticism doesn’t determine the sufferer.
The lady recognized as “Govt Assistant 1” within the James report, Brittany Commisso, went public along with her id within the days after it was issued, and filed a criticism with the Albany sheriff’s workplace in regards to the alleged groping in August. She advised “CBS This Morning” that she thought what Cuomo did to her “was against the law.” “He broke the regulation,” she mentioned.
Cuomo has denied the groping allegation, and his lawyer has questioned the timeline of occasions laid out about Commisso’s account within the James report. He resigned per week after James’ report was launched amid impeachment threats and stress from high Democrats, together with President Joe Biden.
“The felony prices introduced right this moment towards Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching additional validate the findings in our report,” James mentioned in a press release on Thursday.
The submitting was first reported by the web site New York Focus.
Phrase of the felony motion was celebrated by Mariann Wang, a lawyer representing two different alleged harassment victims.
“Cuomo is being held to account as he must be, together with by being compelled to reply a felony cost,” Wang mentioned in a press release.
“We hope that every one males who abuse their energy by abusing ladies will see this and perceive that there might be actual penalties to their profoundly damaging conduct.”
Adam Reiss contributed.