Soares declines to prosecute Cuomo
ALBANY – Albany County District Attorney David Soares said on Tuesday he would not be able to prove in court that Andrew Cuomo forcibly touched anyone. And with that said, the criminal case against the former governor was officially dropped.
The criminal charge in Albany County, filed by the sheriff’s department on behalf of Cuomo’s one time executive assistant Brittney Commisso, was the only criminal charge to result from a report by New York Attorney General Letitia James that found Cuomo sexually harassed eleven women.
“I think it’s wrong to look at any one case and try to draw generalizations about them,” said Paul DerOhannessian, an Albany attorney.
DerOhannessian says it’s difficult for him to know if Soares made the right decision without knowing all the facts.
“The one fact pattern which many people felt would support a criminal charge was the one in Albany County,” DerOhannessian opines, “The one where the sheriff felt there was sufficient basis to bring a criminal charge.”
The Albany DA issued a statement on Tuesday morning that read in part: “Our office is the only one who has the burden to prove the elements of 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.”
“It’s unclear if the DA feels the witness is credible why he feels he can’t make a case and meet his burden of proof,” DerOhannessian states.
DerOhannessian says one of the many things that might puzzle folks is that over the past few decades, laws passed in New York State have made it easier to prosecute sexual harassment and forcible touching cases.
Former Governor Cuomo meanwhile has denied any wrong doing throughout the political scandal that forced him from office last summer.
Brittney Commisso’s attorney Brian Premo told the Albany Times Union his client will seek justice in an appropriate civil action, which she will do in due course.