Cuomo Charged With Misdemeanor Sex Offense in Albany

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Disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo was charged with a misdemeanor sex offense and could be behind bars by the end of the week.

A criminal complaint filed on Thursday in the Albany County Sheriff’s Office accused the ex-governor of forcibly touching a former aide’s breast in the New York State Executive Mansion. Cuomo is expected to be arrested for the misdemeanor sex offense this week, the New York Post reported.

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The complaint accuses Cuomo of groping an unnamed woman’s breast on Dec. 7, 2020, the day after the governor’s 63rd birthday, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by Commercial Observer. If convicted, Cuomo would have to register as a sex offender and he’s set to appear in court on Nov. 17. 

The Albany County District Attorney’s Office learned on Thursday about the criminal complaint, saying they will not be commenting further on the issue.

“Like the rest of the public, we were surprised to learn today that a criminal complaint was filed in Albany City Court by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office against Andrew Cuomo,” Albany DA David Soares said in a statement.

Sources told The Times Union that the charges were “prematurely issued” on Thursday after sheriffs filed a summary of their investigation to the court. The DA or the sheriff’s department did not decide whether to formally file charges against Cuomo, according to The Times Union.

“‘Accidentally’ filing a criminal charge without notification and consent of the prosecuting body doesn’t pass the laugh test and this process reeks of Albany politics and perhaps worse,” Rich Azzopardi, a spokesperson for Cuomo, said in a statement.

State investigators previously determined that Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in a pattern of behavior that created a toxic workplace, enabling the harassment to occur, in August after a lengthy investigation by Attorney General Letitia James

The investigation’s release was quickly followed by one of the 11 women who accused Cuomo of sexual harassment filing a criminal complaint against him with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. The woman, identified only as “executive assistant #1” in James’ report, said the governor groped her butt while the two took a selfie in the governo’s official mansion and also grabbed her breast, according to James’ report.

“I felt that he was definitely taking advantage of me,” the assistant said in the attorney general’s report. “The fact that he could tell I was nervous. He could tell that I wasn’t saying anything because he had gotten away with it before.”

Cuomo has repeatedly denied the accusations of sexual harassment, repeatedly criticizing the fairness of James’ investigation, and resigned after the report was released

“From the moment my office received the referral to investigate allegations that former Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, we proceeded without fear or favor,” James said in a statement about Cuomo’s criminal charges. “The criminal charges brought today against Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report.”

If Cuomo was forced to register as a sex offender and a judge deemed him a moderate or high risk to the community, his personal information, including his address, would be posted online, the Post reported.

Update: This story has been updated to include a statement from the Albany County District Attorney’s Office and a spokesperson for Cuomo.

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.