DA drops final sexual harassment criminal case against ex-New York Gov. Cuomo

Four other New York district attorney offices have in recent months dropped criminal cases against former governor.

Updated: February 1, 2022 - 12:23pm

A district attorney in upstate New York has dropped its criminal investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against former New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Oswego, N.Y., District Attorney Gregory Oakes said Monday that there is not a sufficient legal basis to bring charges against Cuomo but that his decision is "not an exoneration."

The decision marks an end to all such cases against Cuomo, who resigned in November 2021 following a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James that concluded he'd harassed 11 women.

The Oswego case was brought by Virginia Limmiatis, who accused the disgraced ex-governor of groping her chest during a 2017 event in the county.

She came forward with her allegations after hearing Cuomo say in March 2021 that he never "touched anyone inappropriately."

"After a thorough review of the available evidence and applicable law, the Oswego County District Attorney's Office has concluded that there is not a sufficient legal basis to bring criminal charges against former Governor Andrew Cuomo based upon the allegations of unwanted physical contact," Oakes said in a statement obtained by the New York Post.

"To be clear, this decision is based solely upon an assessment of the law and whether the People can establish a legally sufficient case under controlling precedent. In no way should this decision be interpreted as casting doubt upon the character or credibility of Ms. Limmiatis, or how harmful the acts she experienced were." 

Limmiatis told the Post: "Cuomo not only touched my chest inappropriately, but whispered in my ear afterwards to make up a patently ridiculous excuse to cover up his behavior."

Oakes' decision follows similar ones in recent months by district attorneys' offices in Nassau and Westchester counties and in Albany and Manhattan. 

"Not every violation of law results in a criminal prosecution," said Limmiatis attorney Mariann Wang. "This decision does not mean Cuomo acted appropriately or lawfully towards Ms. Limmiatis or any of the other women who came forward, or that he didn't cause them significant harm."