Court dismisses groped complaint against former governor Andrew Cuomo

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo briefly appears virtually for a court session.

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo briefly appears virtually for a hearing before Judge Holly Trexler on Friday, January 7, 2022, in Albany, NY | Hans Pennink, Pool / AP Photo

ALBANY – An Albany criminal court on Friday agreed to drop a forced touching lawsuit against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The complaint, stemming from allegations that Cuomo groped a former staff member, was the only charge against the former governor after a year in which he faced a long list of charges on various matters and resigned last August following complaints of sexual harassment.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares announced earlier this week that there was not enough evidence to allow him to pursue the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. In a Friday hearing, Judge Holly Trexler did not object to her decision to drop her.

“The district attorney’s office has unlimited discretion… to prosecute a particular case,” Trexler said. “Courts cannot and cannot interfere with the discretion of a district attorney.”

The essentially virtual procedure itself was quite disappointing.

Cuomo only appeared on camera for a second, when lawyer Rita Glavin panned the camera to show he was in the room with her. He didn’t speak.

Disability rights activist Michael Carey attempted to deliver a letter to Trexler asking him to force Soares to pursue the case; the magistrates did not let him deliver the letter.

The case stems from allegations made by former governor Brittany Commisso, who accused Cuomo of groping her into the executive mansion in 2020.

Soares said that while he found her believable and cooperative, there simply wasn’t enough evidence to move forward.

“Law enforcement and police can act legally once they find probable cause to believe an event has occurred,” he said Friday morning during a regular appearance on the road. WAMC public radio station.

“It’s a very, very, very low burden. This is a much different burden from what prosecutors face, which is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Cuomo denied touching Commiso inappropriately, and Glavin praised the decision to drop the case.

“As the governor said, it just didn’t happen,” Glavin told reporters on a Zoom call.

Commisso’s allegations may still lead to civil action.

And there are several other potential legal actions that Cuomo still has to grapple with, including attempts by the State Joint Commission on Public Ethics to potentially recoup the $ 5.1 million he was paid for. write his memoirs on the pandemic.

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