Cuomo Sex Offense Charge May Be ‘Defective’: DA

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The Albany County district attorney cast doubt on the sex offense case against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, characterizing a criminal complaint against the former New York governor as “potentially defective” because it did not include a sworn statement from the alleged victim.

The Albany County district attorney’s office learned about the criminal complaint the day it was filed and declined to comment further on the issue at the time, Commercial Observer reported. But, in a letter, D.A. David Soares took issue with the sheriff who filed the complaint last week without his knowledge, “unilaterally and inexplicably,” even though Soares’ own investigation was still active, The New York Times reported.

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The prosecution’s ability to move forward with the case is hampered by the fact that the complaint is missing a sworn statement from the alleged victim, Soares said, per the Times. Soares said that portions of the victim’s testimony could be favorable to Cuomo’s case, and asked Albany City Court Judge Holly Trexler to delay Cuomo’s arraignment, scheduled for Nov. 17, which she granted, pushing it back until Jan. 7, on Friday, the Times reported. Soares did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The criminal complaint filed last week 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. Sheriff Craig Apple said his office moved forward because it had conducted its own inquiry and did not need to coordinate with the DA on a misdemeanor charge, per the Times. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Last week, when the criminal charge was first issued, a spokesperson for Cuomo called the decision to file hasty and said it “reeks of Albany politics and perhaps worse.” 

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

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

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