Cuomo due in court virtually after DA drops fondling case

Associated Press

Albany, N.Y. – Andrew Cuomo will be required to appear virtually for a court session Friday as a judge considers a prosecutor’s request to dismiss a fondling case against the former New York governor.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares asked Judge Holly Trexler on Tuesday to dismiss the misdemeanor complaint, just three days before Cuomo’s scheduled arraignment. Trexler notified prosecution and defense lawyers Thursday that they will be required to appear virtually, along with Cuomo.

Soares said he would not be able to prove former Cuomo aide Brittany Commisso’s allegation that the then-governor groped her in the executive mansion in December 2020.

In a letter to the judge, Soares said “statutory elements of New York law make this case impossible to prove.” He added that multiple government inquiries into Cuomo’s conduct had created “technical and procedural hurdles” regarding prosecutors’ obligations to disclose evidence to the defense.

Cuomo has denied the charge, telling state the attorney general’s investigators “it would be an act of insanity” to do that.

A motion to dismiss the charge written by Cuomo attorney Rita Glavin was released by court officials on Thursday.

“Given the District Attorney’s declination to prosecute this matter, the Court should dismiss the case to avoid intruding upon the role of the prosecutor,” she wrote.

Commisso said Cuomo reached up her blouse and grabbed her breast while they were alone in his Executive Mansion office.

Her testimony was included in a report, released in August by Democratic state Attorney General Letitia James, that concluded Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. Cuomo announced his resignation a week after the report’s release, though he attacked it as inaccurate and unfair.

Albany County’s sheriff filed a misdemeanor forcible touching case against Cuomo in October. Soares, a fellow Democrat, complained at the time that it was filed without his knowledge and was “potentially defective.”