Andrew Cuomo Forcible Touching Hearing WATCH LIVE STREAM
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WATCH: Hearing on State’s Motion to Drop Sex Crime Case Against Andrew Cuomo

Prosecutors and the defense will be in court Friday to handle the state’s motion to formally drop their sex crime case against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D). The live feed is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. ET. You can watch in the player above.

The district attorney of Albany County, New York, announced on Tuesday that his office was dropping the misdemeanor case. The original complaint filed by the local sheriff’s office said that Cuomo, then governor of New York state, committed forcible touching on the afternoon of Dec. 7, 2020. Though he faced a slew of sexual harassment claims, this particular allegation was from former executive assistant Brittany Commisso, who said that Cuomo groped her breast.

“He came around and he pulled me close and he put his hand up my shirt and then — up my blouse and I pulled away and he said I don’t care and he slammed the door and said I don’t care and then he came back, I think that’s when I said you’re crazy and I pushed him away,” Commisso testified via Zoom on May 17 last year.

Cuomo, who resigned in August, has denied allegations of wrongdoing in this and other claims.

“That never happened,” Cuomo testified about Commisso’s groping claim on July 17. “Let’s just — you know, at one point there has to be a little reality. To touch a woman’s breast who I hardly know, in the mansion, with ten staff around, with my family in the mansion, to say ‘I don’t care who sees us.'”

Facing mounting harassment claims, he previously issued a vague apology in which he blamed the situation on him being friendly, making jokes and teasing people.

“I now understand that my interactions may have been insensitive or too personal and that some of my comments, given my position, made others feel in ways I never intended,” he said in February. “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation. To the extent anyone felt that way, I am truly sorry about that.”

Ultimately, District Attorney David Soares (D) said Tuesday that his office did not think they could prove Cuomo was guilty of a crime in the forcible touching case.

“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,” he said. “As such we have notified the Court that we are declining to prosecute this matter and requesting the charges filed by the Albany County Sheriff be dismissed.”

The misdemeanor case was strained from the beginning, with reporting that the sheriff’s office’s complaint appeared to blindside both the D.A.’s office and Commisso.

“I think we have an overwhelming amount of evidence,” Albany Sheriff Craig Apple (D) told reporters at a press conference in October, shortly after his office filed the complaint. “We have, the victim’s been cooperating fully every day, every step of the way.”

Albany-area outlet the Times Union reported this week that Commisso “wanted to pursue the case but was informed during a meeting with prosecutors on Monday afternoon that they were planning to invoke their discretion not to move forward, in part, because of the manner in which the criminal complaint had been filed, according to a person briefed on the matter.”

As Law&Crime previously explained, the filing of the charging document by the sheriff’s office directly (and not by the prosecutor’s office) left the instrument open to an additional attack by Cuomo’s attorneys.

[Image via David Dee Delgado/Getty Images]

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