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Cuomo to be charged with misdemeanor sex crime over alleged groping of former aide

Don Pollard

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be charged with at least one misdemeanor sex crime over his alleged groping of a former aide, a spokesman for the state court system confirmed Thursday.

“A Misdemeanor Complaint against former Governor Andrew Cuomo has been filed in Albany City Court,” said Lucian Chalfen, a spokesperson for the state Office of Court Administration. “As this is a sex crime, a redacted complaint will be available shortly.”

According to a criminal complaint released by the state court system, Cuomo will be charged with the class A misdemeanor of Forcible Touching, which can carry a sentence of up to a year in jail upon conviction.

The charge was compiled using copies of Blackberry PIN messages, cell phone records, swipe cards, State Police Aviation records, text messages, and testimony taken by the state Attorney General’s Office.

“At the aforesaid time, and location the defendant Andrew M. Cuomo did intentionally and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly place his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim,” the complaint reads.

Neither the Albany County Sheriff’s Office or Albany County District Attorney’s Office immediately returned calls requesting comment on the charge.

Cuomo was accused this year of groping Brittany Commisso, a former aide in his office, at the Executive Mansion in Albany. Commisso’s allegations were one of several that led to Cuomo’s resignation in office.

Her account was deemed credible ina report released by the state Attorney General’s Office on the several claims of harassment leveled against Cuomo this year.

Attorney General Letitia James, in a statement Thursday, said the criminal charge filed against Cuomo validated the findings of the report.

“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," James said. "The criminal charges brought today against Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report.”

Cuomo has denied the allegations, and Rita Glavin, his attorney, has said the visitor logs of the Executive Mansion do not support Commisso’s claim that she was there when she alleges the incident happened.

Representatives for Cuomo did not immediately comment on the charge.

Dan Clark is the host and producer of New York NOW, a weekly television show focusing on state government produced by WMHT in Albany. Clark has been reporting on New York state government and politics for the last six years, during which time he's worked out of the state Capitol in Albany. Clark reported for the national political fact-checking publication PolitiFact, the Buffalo News, the statewide political television show Capital Tonight, and most recently the New York Law Journal. At the New York Law Journal, Clark has focused on state legal challenges to President Donald Trump, as well as litigation concerning laws enacted by the New York State Legislature. Clark covered the Legislature in each role he's held and is a familiar face to state lawmakers and staff. Clark is a native of Afton, NY in Chenango County. He's lived in Albany with his husband since 2011.