Akash Mehta of the New York Focus reported on Thursday afternoon that Andrew Cuomo, the former governor of New York, had been charged with forcible touching, with NBC News and the New York Post later confirming the same.
Mehta claimed to have been told as much by a clerk with the Albany Criminal Court. Reached for comment, another clerk for court declined to confirm the same, telling National Review to “call back tomorrow” for confirmation. Mehta also noted that “a secretary at the Albany County Sheriff’s office said he was unaware of filed charges but that he had not spoken to the criminal justice investigation’s team.”
The Albany Times Union’s Brendan Lyons is asserting that the charges were filed erroneously, explaining that a “summons was issued without the consent of the alleged victim, Brittany Commisso, or her attorney, Brian D. Premo.”
According to Lyons, a sheriff’s investigator “met with a City Court official on Thursday to receive ‘guidance’ if the department were to file a complaint. It’s unclear what happened after that, but a person briefed on the matter and not authorized to comment publicly said that someone in City Court issued the summons.”
However, both Tom Winter of NBC News and Bernadette Hogan, the New York Post’s Albany Bureau chief, are reporting that Cuomo has indeed been charged, with Hogan citing a named spokesman, Lucian Chalfen.
NEW: Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been charged with a misdemeanor complaint in Albany City Court for a sex-crime related charge, a spokesperson for New York State courts tells NBC News.
Details on the allegation to come…
Reported w/ @jonathan4ny
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) October 28, 2021
Currently at Albany County City Court, where officials refuse to release physical copy of misdemeanor complaint filed against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo—says to contact @NYSCourtsNews.
Spox Lucian Chalfen confirms: Misdemeanor Complaint filed in Albany City Court against Cuomo.
— Bernadette Hogan (@bern_hogan) October 28, 2021
In a story for the Post, Hogan, Julia Marsh, and Bruce Golding quote Chalfen as saying that, “as this is a sex crime, a redacted complaint will be available shortly.”
It’s unclear if charges were erroneously filed at first — triggering actual charges to be filed shortly thereafter, or if charges were always meant to be made and the announcement just came early.
Cuomo resigned from office earlier this year after a damning report from New York attorney general Leticia James substantiated allegations of sexual harassment against him. “Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women and in doing so violated federal and state law,” asserted James in August.
Eleven women levied allegations against the former governor in the report, allegations that included unwanted touching of multiple employees in intimate areas.
Cuomo has defended himself as being merely “playful,” and cited his Italian heritage as further evidence of his innocent intentions in regards to some of the allegations against him, but has outright denied some of the more serious charges, including Commisso’s.