Sex crime charges have been filed against ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo Thursday, according to upstate officials.
A complaint filed on Oct. 28 by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office accuses Cuomo of forcible touching, a class A misdemeanor, for allegedly groping a woman at the Governor’s Executive Mansion on Dec. 7, 2020.
The defendant’s name was redacted from the complaint, but the description matches allegations by former Cuomo-aide Brittany Commisso.
Around 4 p.m. on the date late last year, Cuomo allegedly put his hand under the victim’s shirt and onto her left breast, the complaint reads.
State Office of Court Administration spokesperson Lucian Chalfen confirmed to amNewYork Metro that charges have been filed.
“A Misdemeanor Complaint against former Governor Andrew Cuomo has been filed in Albany City Court,” he said. “As this is a sex crime, a redacted complaint will be available shortly.”
Commisso’s was the most serious allegation among the 11 women who accused the disgraced former governor of sexual harassment in Attorney General Letitia James’s bombshell report.
In a statement Thursday evening, James said the charges further validate her office’s investigation.
“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 AG said. “The criminal charges brought today against Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report.”
In the probe, Commisso accused Cuomo of groping her and hugging her at the Governor’s Mansion after she helped him with his State of the State speech.
She was anonymized as Executive Assistant #1 in the Aug. 3 James report, but she came forward publicly six days later in an interview with CBS.
WATCH: The aide who accused NY Gov. Cuomo of groping her is speaking publicly for the first time.
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) August 9, 2021
“These were not hugs that he would give his mother or his brother, these were hugs with the intention of getting some personal sexual satisfaction out of,” Commisso said on air at the time.
The governor’s physical contact toward her also included regular hugs and kisses on the cheek and at least one kiss on the lips, according to the AG’s probe.
The charges are a result of a probe by Albany County District Attorney David Soares who investigated the incident, but on Thursday the DA said in a statement he was “surprised” that the complaint was filed.
“Like the rest of the public, we were surprised to learn today that a criminal complaint was filed in Albany Cit Court by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office against Andrew Cuomo,” Soares’s statement read.
The Times Union reports that the summons was issued prematurely by Albany City Court and without the consent of Commisso or her lawyer, but that she has cooperated with investigators and planned to move forward with the complaint.
DA Soares launched a criminal investigation soon after the report’s release, while Cuomo, who resigned on Aug. 24, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in response to the 11 women’s allegations.
Cuomo’s lawyer Rita Glavin issued a statement Thursday night denying the governor assaulted anyone and going on the attack against Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple by questioning his motives.
“Governor Cuomo has never assaulted anyone, and Sheriff Apple’s motives here are patently improper,” Glavin’s statement read. “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 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.”
When asked for comment, the Albany County Sheriff’s office did not address Glavin’s comments but forwarded a statement confirming that they issued a criminal summons for Cuomo to appear in court on Nov. 17.