A New York prosecutor will not pursue a misdemeanour sex crime charge against former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, saying he could not prove the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Albany County District Attorney David Soares said in a statement on Tuesday that his office had investigated the complaint made by former Cuomo aide Brittany Commisso and that he found her to be “co-operative and credible".
“I, like most New Yorkers, remain deeply troubled by allegations like the ones at issue here,” his statement said.
“Such conduct has no place in government or in any workplace.”
Ms Commisso, then a Cuomo aide in her early 30s, said Mr Cuomo groped her breast at the Executive Mansion in Albany in 2020. In October, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple filed a criminal complaint in court that charged Mr Cuomo with forcible touching.
The complaint appeared to take even the prosecutor by surprise, who asked that Mr Cuomo's initial court appearance be postponed to January 7, saying the sheriff had acted unilaterally and that his complaint was “potentially defective".
The former governor has said he has never touched anyone inappropriately and that his efforts to be a friendly boss may have been mistaken for flirting.
Ms Commisso's complaint was the most serious individual case discussed in the state report that led to Mr Cuomo's downfall, although news reports said the US Justice Department began investigating whether there was a pattern of Mr Cuomo harassing women employees.
Other county prosecutors have investigated some of the other individual complaints but declined to bring charges.
Brian Premo, Ms Commisso's lawyer, told The Albany Times Union, which first reported the district attorney's decision, that she intended to pursue a civil case against Mr Cuomo.