World

Cuomo court date set for Friday

ALBANY, NY – Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was prepared for a virtual appearance before an Albany judge on Friday as prosecutors moved to dismiss the only criminal charge against Democrats related to the allegation. sexual harassment forced him to leave office.

The misdemeanor complaint, filed by the local sheriff in October, alleges Cuomo groped an aide in the executive mansion in December 2020, eight months before he resigned.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares told Judge Holly Trexler earlier this week that although the aide was credible and some evidence supported her account, he believed he could not prevail first. court.

Soares and Cuomo’s attorney had asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit. With a settlement already scheduled, the judge said Cuomo and the attorneys should show up mostly. The judge will preside over the proceedings from an Albany courtroom with participating attorneys via videoconference.

The charges against Cuomo are based on allegations by Brittany Commisso, who said Cuomo ran his hands up her shirt and grabbed her breasts while they were alone in their office at the mansion.

Her testimony was among the most damning of a report released in August by Democratic State Attorney General Letitia James that concluded Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women.

Cuomo resigned that month. He has called the report unfair and has vehemently denied the allegation of groping.

Soares said he was taken by surprise when Sheriff Craig Apple, a Democrat, filed a complaint of forced touching without consulting the prosecutor’s office. Soares called it “potentially faulty” and moved to delay Cuomo’s arrangement, which was originally set for November.

In a letter to Trexler on Tuesday, Soares said “statutory elements of New York law make this case unprovable.” He added that multiple government investigations into Cuomo’s conduct have created “technical and procedural hurdles” regarding prosecutors’ obligations to disclose evidence to defense counsel.

Some legal experts say Soares’ decision illustrates the difficulty of prosecuting sex crime allegations. But others say he should proceed if he considers the accuser to be trustworthy.

Commisso is one of the critics.

“My disappointing experience of being re-victimized with the failure to prosecute a serial sex abuser, no matter how serious the crime was committed, once again sadly highlights reasons that make victims afraid to approach, especially against those in power,” Commisso said in a statement to the Times Union of Albany.

Two New York City suburban prosecutors separately announced last month that Cuomo would not face charges involving other women who said they had been kissed or touched unintentionally. .

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