A city court judge in Albany has delayed the arraignment of former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo following a misdemeanor charge of sexually groping a woman following a warning from a prosecutor that the criminal complaint filed last week is “potentially defective.”
According to a letter obtained by NEWS10, Albany County District Attorney P. David Soares requested that the court delay Cuomo’s arrangement for 60 days while he conducts an investigation into the case.
“Unfortunately, the filings in this matter are potentially defective in that the police-officer-complainant failed to include a sworn statement by the victim such that the People could proceed with prosecution on these papers,” says the letter, according to the local outlet.
The Hill reported further that a spokesperson from Soares’s office said the arraignment has been postponed until Jan. 7 after the disgraced former governor was supposed to be arraigned Nov. 17.
The misdemeanor charge against Cuomo was filed last week. The complaint says he forcibly groped a woman under her shirt in December when he was still serving as governor.
The complaint filed in Albany City Court alleged that 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” while both were in the Executive Mansion.
“Specifically, the victims [sic] left breast for the purposes of degrading and satisfying his sexual desire,” the complaint added.
“He came back to me and that’s when he put his hand up my blouse and cupped my breast over my bra,” the victim, former aide Brittany Commisso, 33, told “CBS Good Morning” in August.” “I exactly remember looking down, seeing his hand, which is a large hand, thinking to myself, ‘Oh, my God. This is happening.’”
The charge was filed by Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said a week ago Friday that his office examined hundreds of documents and interviewed a number of witnesses after executing search warrants during the investigation. All information was then given to the court which issued a summons.
Apple noted as well that the investigatory processes were normal, but added that the “relatively accelerated rate” the charge was returned surprised him. He added that he “would have liked” to speak with Soares as well as Rita Glavin, Cuomo’s attorney, before the actual charge was filed, The Hill added.
In his letter, Soares noted “that the complaint included a portion of a transcript of the statement that the victim gave in a separate proceeding, which excluded other parts of her testimony where she described the same acts,” The Hill reported.
Cuomo resigned from office in August after Letitia James, the Democratic New York attorney general, released an investigative report that determined Cuomo had violated both state and federal law in harassing a number of women while he was in office. The report also said that the then-governor retaliated against one woman who spoke up.
“The independent investigation has concluded that Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually arrested multiple women and violated federal and state law,” James said, though she added that she believed the matters were “civil” in nature and as such declined to file any charges.
“When my office received the referral to investigate allegations that former Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, we proceeded without fear or favor,” James noted on Twitter late last month after the charge was announced. “The criminal charges against Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report.”
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