Touching Complaint Names Cuomo

Filing accuses former governor of Class A misdemeanor at the Executive Mansion last year
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2021 5:01 PM CDT
Touching Complaint Names Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, shown during a news conference in May 2020, did not immediately comment on a complaint filed Thursday.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

A criminal complaint was filed Thursday against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, saying he forcibly touched a woman at the state's Executive Mansion in December 2020. The filing in Albany City Court did not name the woman, the New York Times reports. The complaint says Cuomo did "intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly place his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim and onto her intimate body part." Signed by an investigator in the Albany County sheriff’s office, the complaint says Cuomo broke the law by touching the woman's left breast "for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires."

The filing says documentation backs up the allegations, per CNN, including cellphone records, entry "swipes" at the state Capitol by an unnamed person, State Police aviation records for that day, and a text message from Cuomo's phone. State Attorney General Letitia James' report this summer about sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo includes testimony by an unnamed woman that also supports the accusations in the complaint, the filing says. A court spokesman confirmed the filing, per the Times. There was no immediate comment from Cuomo's spokesperson.

Conviction for forcible touching, a Class A misdemeanor sex crime, per the Hill, brings a sentence of up to a year in prison. The sheriff's office and local prosecutors have not decided yet whether to file charges, per the Albany Times Union. To win a conviction, prosecutors would have to prove that Cuomo was seeking to degrade his victim or pursuing his own sexual gratification. The action also has to be shown to have been intentional and done with force. Cuomo resigned his office in August, after James' investigation found he had sexually harassed multiple women while governor. He had repeatedly denied the accusations. (More Andrew Cuomo stories.)

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