New York City’s second prosecutor refuses to press suit against Cuomo
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A second New York prosecutor has decided not to initiate criminal proceedings against former Governor Andrew M. Cuomo over allegations of sexual harassment that contributed to his resignation.
Miriam E. Rocah, the Westchester County prosecutor, said Tuesday her office investigated the unwanted kissing charges that two women – including a state soldier – had brought against Mr. Cuomo. The women said the episodes occurred in her jurisdiction.
The women’s allegations were “credible” and Mr. Cuomo’s conduct was “of concern,” but his conduct was not criminal under state law, Ms. Rocah said in a statement.
The announcement came five days after Joyce Smith, the acting prosecutor for Nassau County, Long Island, reached a similar conclusion after investigating a separate allegation made by the soldier regarding an incident at the racetrack. from Belmont Park to Elmont, NY
Ms Smith said her investigation found the charge “credible, deeply troubling, but not criminal under New York law.”
A spokesperson for Mr. Cuomo declined to comment. The former governor has repeatedly denied that he acted inappropriately with women, and he insisted that the actions that gave rise to the allegations of sexual harassment against him were misinterpreted.
In August, Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, released a report detailing 11 allegations of female sexual misconduct against Mr. Cuomo. Some of Mr. Cuomo’s accusers were state employees, including the soldier, who was part of his security service. Mr Cuomo, a Democrat for a third term, resigned shortly after the report was released.
The soldier, who has not been publicly identified, told investigators Mr. Cuomo asked her in 2019 if he could kiss her while she was on duty outside the Mount Kisco home, NY, where he was living at the time, according to Ms. Rocah’s statement and the attorney general’s report.
Fearing to say no, she obeyed, allowing him to kiss her on the cheek, according to Ms Rocah.
Mr. Cuomo then “said something like, ‘Oh, I’m not supposed to do this’ or“ unless it’s against the rules, ”Ms. Rocah said in her statement.
Thomas H. Mungeer, president of the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association, said in a statement he “would not play quarterback Monday morning over the prosecutor’s decision not to prosecute the former’s heinous conduct. governor against a soldier “.
“However,” he added, “our soldier continues to live with what happened to her at the hands of someone she was tasked with protecting.”
The second set of allegations Ms Rocah’s office investigated, which was not covered in the attorney general’s report, involved a director of the White Plains Public School office who said Mr Cuomo l kissed without her consent after a 2018 event at a local high school.
“He grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him and kissed me on the cheek without asking if I was okay with such a personal greeting,” said the woman, Susan Iannucci, during ‘a press conference in August, according to lohud.com. “I smiled nervously afterwards. I had to endure the comments of those present.
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“We are delighted that the district attorney’s office, in its press release today, indicated that it considers her allegation and Susan to be credible,” said Gloria Allred, counsel for Ms. Iannucci.
Ms Rocah noted in her statement that her decision not to prosecute Mr Cuomo did not prevent his accusers from prosecuting him.
Mr Cuomo faces a sex offense charge in Albany County based on a criminal complaint filed by the sheriff there. Albany County Prosecutor David Soares, who called the complaint “potentially flawed,” has yet to commit to continuing the case.
“For now, it is still the date of appearance in court,” said Cecilia Walsh, spokesperson for Mr. Soares, on Tuesday. “There are no additional updates at this time.”
The Oswego County District Attorney’s Office, which is investigating an allegation of an incident involving Mr. Cuomo in its jurisdiction, did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney, who also opened an investigation, declined to comment.
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