ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A prosecutor investigating accusations that former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo groped a woman has asked a judge for more time, saying the criminal complaint filed last week by the local sheriff was “potentially defective.”
The request from Albany Country District Attorney David Soares throws the high-profile case in turmoil a week after Cuomo was accused in a criminal complaint filed by the local sheriff of committing a misdemeanor sex crime.
Soares said in a letter to Judge Holly Trexler that his office had been investigating the matter for several months.
“We were in the middle of that investigation when the Sheriff unilaterally and inexplicably filed a compliant in this court,” Soares wrote in the letter. “Unfortunately, the filings in this matter are potentially defective in that the police-officer-complainant failed to include a sworn statement by the victim such that the People could proceed with a prosecution on these papers.”
“Law enforcement has stumbled right out of the gate in connection with this prosecution and it’s shocking they would stumble so badly because it’s such a high profiled manner,” said local criminal defense attorney Terry Connors.
Connors says it’s unusual for the DA and law enforcement to be on opposite pages.
“It really is unheard of that they wouldn’t be coordinating with each other because they are two parts of the team. One is essential to the other,” Connors said. “One does the investigation and one does the prosecution. “If they’re not talking to each other, agreeing on the content of the documents, agree on what was found and how they’re going to portray it, it’s fatal.”
The court summons last week had required Cuomo to appear for an arraignment on Nov. 17.
But the court granted an adjournment until Jan. 7, 2022, at the request of the parties, a spokesperson for Albany Country District Attorney David Soares said in an email.
A call was made to Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple seeking comment.
The one-page complaint filed in Albany City Court accuses Cuomo of forcible touching by putting his hand under a woman’s shirt on Dec. 7.
The complaint did not name the woman, but she has identified herself as Brittany Commisso, who worked as one of Cuomo’s executive assistants before he resigned amid sexual harassment allegations in August.
Forcible touching is a misdemeanor in New York, punishable by up to a year in jail, though many cases for first-time offenders are resolved with probation or a shorter jail sentence.
Cuomo Under Fire
- Cuomo under federal probe over sexual harassment, COVID-19 response
- WATCH: Buffalo attorney Terry Connors weighs in on assembly judiciary committee’s investigation into former Gov. Cuomo
- Assembly impeachment investigation concludes Cuomo engaged in multiple instances of sexual harassment
- Cost of Cuomo scandal: Where could taxpayer money go and how much?
- Assembly impeachment investigation of Cuomo nearing finish line