Last New York DA investigating Andrew Cuomo declines to prosecute

OSWEGO, New York (WABC) -- Oswego District Attorney Gregory Oakes is declining to pursue sexual harassment allegations against Andrew Cuomo, the last of five criminal cases that could have been brought against the disgraced former New York governor.

Like the other district attorneys who have declined prosecution, Oakes said his decision is not an exoneration. It merely means the allegations against Cuomo are not prosecutable.

The Oswego investigation was in connection with a 2017 encounter in which a woman, Virginia Limmiatis, who alleged Cuomo inappropriately touched her chest.

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The decision means Cuomo is no longer facing any criminal investigations stemming from New York Attorney General Letitia James' report that concluded he sexually harassed 11 women.

The only criminal charge Cuomo faced was dropped by the Albany District Attorney's Office after DA David Soares said there was not enough evidence to mount a successful prosecution.

Limmitis' attorney released the following statement:

Ms. Limmiatis is grateful to Oswego County District Attorney Oakes for his careful consideration of this matter. The fact that this matter is not being criminally prosecuted does not mean Cuomo is "innocent." His behavior towards her in May 2017 was a plain abuse of power, as she states:

"Cuomo not only touched my chest inappropriately, but whispered in my ear afterwards to make up a patently ridiculous excuse to cover up his behavior. I immediately spoke to multiple people about what Cuomo had done to me, precisely because I was so disturbed and upset by it. At the same time, I did not report him publicly, because he was the Governor, and I was fearful of him."

The AG report was thorough and extensive in its review of evidence and its conclusions: Cuomo repeatedly abused his power, acted inappropriately towards women, and also punished those who tried to report him or push back. As Ms. Limmiatis further states: "I am glad he was forced to step down and held to account, and am proud to stand with all the women who had the courage to report his misconduct. So many women suffer in silence and are not supported when they come forward."

Mariann Wang, attorney for Ms. Limmatis states: "Not every violation of law results in a criminal prosecution. This decision does not mean Cuomo acted appropriately or lawfully towards Ms. Limmiatis or any of the other women who came forward, or that he didn't cause them significant harm."

We urge Governor Hochul and the New York Legislature to pass the Adult Survivors Act to ensure that all survivors have the power to hold perpetrators accountable.

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Dave Evans has the latest update on the investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of former governor Andrew Cuomo.

"As now five DAs have verified, none of the accusations in Tish James' fraud of a report have stood up to any level of real scrutiny," Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said. "This has always been a political hit job to further the Attorney General's own ambitions, which both reeks of prosecutorial misconduct and has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars. As we've said since the beginning, the truth will come out."

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