Groping Charges Dropped Against Andrew Cuomo

Prosecutor calls woman's accusation credible but says he doesn't have enough evidence
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2021 3:15 PM CST
Updated Jan 4, 2022 11:23 AM CST
Cuomo Avoids Charges for Touching Trooper
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, shown in July, is accused of inappropriate behavior toward a member of his security detail.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Update: Another legal win for Andrew Cuomo in regard to sexual harassment allegations. The former New York governor will not face a criminal charge that he fondled an aide while in office, reports the AP. Albany County District Attorney David Soares said Tuesday that he was dropping the case because "we have concluded that we cannot meet our burden at trial." He made a point to say that he found Cuomo's accuser "credible," however. She alleged that Cuomo put his hand up her blouse while they were alone in 2020. Last month, Cuomo learned that he won't be charged with inappropriately touching a state trooper. Our original story on that from Dec. 14 follows:

After investigating an accusation that Andrew Cuomo inappropriately touched a state trooper assigned to guard him in 2019, a prosecutor said the former governor won't be charged in the case. The allegation is "credible, deeply troubling, but not criminal under New York law," said Joyce Smith, acting district attorney of Nassau County. The trooper, who has not been named publicly, told investigators that she was assigned to the governor's detail at Belmont Park racetrack in Elmont when Cuomo ran his hand across her stomach, the New York Times reports. When his hand neared her navel, the trooper said, she pushed it toward her right hip, toward her gun holster.

The trooper's accusations were part of a report by state Attorney General Letitia James released in August that said Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women. The trooper said she had felt "completely violated" by Cuomo, per the Hill. A senior State Police investigator "fully corroborated" the accusation to investigators and said he asked the trooper if she wanted to take action against the governor. She declined, fearing retribution, the report said. Cuomo, who resigned in August, has denied any inappropriate behavior toward his accusers.

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The same month, Cuomo's lawyer apologized to the trooper in an interview. Cuomo didn't intend "to make her feel as if he was touching her in a sexual way," the lawyer said. A spokesman for the former governor said the prosecutor's decision not to press charges validates Cuomo's claim that James' damning report was just a "political springboard" to further her political career. Richard Azzopardi called the report "the intersection of gross prosecutorial misconduct and an abuse of government power for political purposes." James announced her candidacy for governor in October, then withdrew from the race weeks later. (More Andrew Cuomo stories.)

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