Then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives a speech about COVID-19 in June. On Tuesday, prosecutors moved to drop a misdemeanor sexual assault charge against him. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Prosecutors requested Tuesday that an Albany court dismiss a criminal charge filed against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was accused of forcibly touching an aide.
Albany County District Attorney David Soares said in a statement that his office had moved to dismiss the misdemeanor sexual assault charge because prosecutors could not prove that the incident rose to the level of being a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
"While we found the complainant in this case cooperative and credible, after review of all the available evidence, we have concluded that we cannot meet our burden at trial," Soares said. "As such, we have notified the court that we are declining to prosecute this matter and requesting the charges filed by the Albany County Sheriff be dismissed."
Soares, who noted in bold lettering that all parties are presumed innocent until proven guilty, did rebuke the disgraced politician and said he remains "deeply troubled" by the allegations against him.
"Such conduct has no place in government or in any workplace," Soares said, before encouraging victims of workplace harassment and abuse to continue to come forward with allegations.
Cuomo had been accused of putting his hands under the shirt of a former aide and touching her breast at the Executive Mansion in Albany, which was described along with allegations from 10 other women in a report by Attorney General Letitia James' office. James later announced she would run for governor after Cuomo resigned from office, but suspended her campaign in December.
The Tuesday announcement came after lawyer Elkan Abramowitz said in a statement to Politico on Monday that the former governor was told by the Manhattan district attorney's office it would not bring charges after completing an investigation into allegations he mishandled nursing homes at the start of the pandemic.
Last week, Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Roach revealed that Cuomo would not face criminal charges for allegedly asking a state trooper if he could kiss her and grabbing a school employee and kissing her without her consent.
"Our investigation found credible evidence to conclude that the alleged conduct in both instances described above did occur," Roach said in a statement. "However, in both instances, my office has determined that, although the allegations and witnesses were credible and the conduct concerning, we cannot pursue criminal charges due to the statutory requirements of the criminal laws of New York."
Last month, acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith said her office would not prosecute Cuomo for allegations from the state trooper claiming that Cuomo touched her abdomen while she held a door open for him during an event at the Belmont Racetrack on Long Island in 2019.
Smith said that her office found the allegations against Cuomo "deeply troubling but not criminal" under New York law.