Disgraced former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who resigned earlier this year after being accused of multiple incidents of sexual misconduct, is now being criminally charged for allegedly forcibly fondling a former female aide.
Though a misdemeanor, the criminal charge is the most serious escalation against Cuomo since his resignation.
This story was first reported on Thursday by the New York Post.
Since Cuomo stepped down as governor in August after 11 eleven women made sexual allegations against him, this is the only actual criminal charge that has been filed.
The New York Post reported, “Cuomo is expected to surrender to authorities sometime next week to be arrested and booked, sources said.”
“If convicted as charged, Cuomo would have to register as a sex offender and a judge would decide on his likely risk of committing another sex crime,” the Post noted. “If he were deemed to pose a moderate or high risk to the community, his photograph, name, address and other information would be posted online.”
A spokesman for the New York State court system, Lucian Chalfen, confirmed that a complaint had been filed.
“A misdemeanor complaint was filed in Albany City Court against the former governor this afternoon,” Chalfen said in his statement. “As this is a sex crime, a redacted complaint will be available shortly.”
Cuomo’s attorney Rita Glavin released a statement denying the charge.
Cuomo “has never assaulted anyone,” Glavin insisted. “This is not professional law enforcement; this is politics,” Glavin also said.
New York state Attorney General Letitia James, whose probe findings are what prompted Cuomo to eventually step down, said in a statement on Thursday, “The criminal charges brought today against Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report.”
Earlier this week, it was also reported that James is set to announce her own run for governor.
Some observers think it’s no coincidence that James would run for governor after effectively bringing down Cuomo.
Of the news that James plans to run, Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said, “Oh I’m sure that decision was made around August or so.”
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