ALBANY, N.Y. — A prosecutor investigating accusations that former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo groped a woman asked a judge for more time to evaluate the evidence, saying the criminal complaint filed last week by the local sheriff was “potentially defective,” according to a letter released Friday.
The request from Albany Country District Attorney David Soares throws the high-profile case into further turmoil a week after Cuomo was charged with committing a misdemeanor sex crime. The one-page complaint filed in Albany City Court by a sheriff’s office investigator accuses Cuomo of forcible touching by putting his hand under a woman’s shirt on Dec. 7.
“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.”
“The purpose of this adjournment is to give my office time to continue with our independent and unbiased review,” Soares wrote.
The court granted a delay until Jan. 7, 2022, a spokesperson for Soares said in an email.
A call was made to Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple seeking comment. There was no immediate comment from Cuomo‘s spokesperson.
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 has repeatedly denied touching anyone inappropriately.
Both Cuomo and Commisso gave lengthy interviews to James’ investigators. Soares has said that much of that material was turned over to his office but that it was voluminous and would take time to evaluate.
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