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Albany DA drops criminal sexual assault charge against ex-NY Gov. Cuomo

This is the third legal probe in the past two weeks to be dropped against the former governor.

Published: January 4, 2022 11:40am

Updated: January 4, 2022 3:24pm

A criminal sexual assault charge against former New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo was dropped Tuesday by the Albany County district attorney. 

Cuomo faced the misdemeanor charge in connection with allegedly fondling a female gubernatorial aide. 

Albany County District Attorney David Soares said he was dropping the case because he couldn't prove it and that he was asking that the criminal complaint the county sheriff filed in October in connection with the allegation be dismissed, according to the Associated Press

The decision came three days before the disgraced ex-governor was due to answer the misdemeanor charge in court.

"While many have an opinion regarding the allegations against the former governor, the Albany County DA's Office is the only one who has a burden to prove the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt," Soares said. "While we found the complainant in this case cooperative and credible, after review of all the available evidence we have concluded that we cannot meet our burden at trial.

"As such we have notified the court that we are declining to prosecute this matter and requesting the charges filed by the Albany County Sheriff be dismissed."

Cuomo resigned in November following a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James that concluded he'd harassed 11 women.

Cuomo has apologized but says he never thought he crossed a line with his behavior.

The announcement follows a revelation Monday that the Manhattan district attorney's office had dropped its investigation into allegations that Cuomo had badly mishandled a memo sent to nursing homes during the onset of the pandemic, resulting in the deaths of thousands of seniors. 

Furthermore, the Westchester County district attorney let the former governor off the hook last week for accusations that he inappropriately kissed two women, one of them a state trooper, while in office.

"I, like most New Yorkers, remain deeply troubled by allegations like the ones at issue here," Soares said. "Such conduct has no place in government or in any workplace. Although avenues for criminal prosecution in these cases are sometimes limited, I encourage victims of workplace harassment and abuse to continue to come forward and bring these issues to light so that these important discussions can continue."

The woman who filed the complaint dismissed Tuesday has publicly identified herself as Brittany Commisso.

In a statement to the New York Post, an attorney for Commisso, said: "In this case my client had no control over the filing or prosecution of criminal charges. She had no authority or voice in those decisions. The only thing she has any power over is her resolution to continue to speak the truth and seek justice in an appropriate civil action, which she will do in due course."