Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has been charged with a criminal misdemeanor for groping one of his aides last December.
Cuomo is expected to surrender to police next week to be booked and arrested, according to a source quoted by the New York Post.
The charges were filed and made public by Albany City Court and involve the accusation made by 33-year-old former Cuomo aide Brittany Commisso, who has claimed that the then-governor cornered her at his official residence on Dec. 7, 2020, and put his hand up her blouse and cupped her breast.
“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,” an investigator for Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple reported in the complaint. “Specifically, the victim’s left breast for the purposes of degrading or abusing such person, or for the purpose of gratifying his sexual desires.”
The offices of Albany County’s District Attorney and Sheriff revealed that a summons has been issued for Cuomo to appear in court on Nov. 17, according to the New York Post.
If Cuomo is convicted, he could face one year in jail and be required to register as a sex offender. If deemed dangerous and unrepentant by a judge, his address, name, and photograph will be plastered online to warn the community.
Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi called foul about the way the charges were filed and suggested dirty politics and power plays were afoot.
“’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,” Azzopardi said. “The fact that the AG — as predicted — is about to announce a run for governor is lost on no one.”
The assertion that New York Attorney General Letitia James is planning her own run for governor on the heels of Cuomo’s arrest was further legitimized by a source with direct knowledge of her plans.
“An announcement is likely to come on Friday,” the source told NBC New York.
Before Cuomo’s charges were announced, the attorney general’s campaign advisor Kimberly Peeler-Allen told press she had “made a decision regarding the governor’s race” and would announce it “in the coming days.”
James said her investigation “proceeded without fear or favor” the moment she received the referral to investigate Cuomo last August.
“The criminal charges brought today against Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report,” AG James said in her only statement following the announcement.