Former NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo charged with misdemeanor sex crime, court spokesman says

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been summonsed to appear in court next month on a misdemeanor forcible touching charge.

Cuomo is scheduled to appear in court on November 17.

A criminal complaint against Cuomo was filed by Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple Thursday in Albany City Court.

The alleged crime took place at the governor's mansion on December 7, 2020 when Cuomo "intentionally and for no legitimate purpose" forcibly placed his hand under the blouse of an unnamed victim and onto an intimate body part.

"Specifically, the victim's left breast for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires, all contrary to the provisions of the statute in such case made and provided," the complaint filed by the Albany County Sheriff's Office said.

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The timing matches the account of Brittany Commisso, who was an aide to the governor at the time.

Commisso told her story to CBS and confirmed she is "Executive Assistant #1" in the attorney general's report.

Cuomo's attorney, Rita Glavin, released the following statement:

"Governor Cuomo has never assaulted anyone, and Sheriff Apple's motives here are patently improper. Sheriff Apple didn't even tell the District Attorney what he was doing. But Apple's behavior is no surprise given (1) his August 7 press conference where he essentially pronounced the Governor guilty before doing an investigation, and (2) his Office's leaking of grand jury information. This is not professional law enforcement; this is politics."

A spokesman for Cuomo, Rich Azzopardi, said the complaint "reeks of politics."

"'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 truth about what happened with this cowboy sheriff will come out."

In a statement, Albany County District Attorney David Soares, who often works closely with the Albany County Sheriff's Office, said his office had no prior knowledge of the criminal complaint.

"Like the rest of the public, we were surprised to learn today that a criminal complaint was filed in Albany City Court by the Albany County Sheriff's Office against Andrew Cuomo. The Office of Court Administration has since made that filing public. Our office will not be commenting further on this case," Soares' statement said.

Cuomo faced several criminal investigations by district attorneys' offices around the state following the August publication of New York Attorney General Letitia James' report that found Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women, including a state trooper on his security detail.

Cuomo announced his resignation August 10 amid the investigation, his last day in office was August 28.

Cuomo's full statement:
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"From the moment my office received the referral to investigate allegations that former Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, we proceeded without fear or favor. The criminal charges brought today against Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report," James said in a statement.

Mariann Wang, an attorney for Alyssa McGrath and Virginia Limmiatis, two other women accusing Cuomo of sexual misconduct released the following statement:

My clients are enormously grateful for the courage of the women who have come forward to speak the truth about Cuomo's misconduct. Cuomo is being held to account as he should be, including by being forced to answer a criminal charge. We hope that all men who abuse their power by abusing women will see this and understand that there will be real consequences to their profoundly damaging behavior.

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