NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — New York State Sen. Todd Kaminsky says the Albany County Sheriff’s Office has to be “ready for war” after one of its investigators filed a complaint accusing former Gov. Andrew Cuomo of committing a misdemeanor sex crime.
“I cannot imagine a world where the former governor does not try to take this to trial and try to discredit the accuser,” Kaminsky, who was also the former assistant district attorney for the eastern district of Manhattan, said on “Dan Abrams Live.“
The complaint says that Cuomo “did intentionally and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly place his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim and onto her intimate body part. Specifically, the victim’s left breast for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires.”
The document didn’t name the woman, but Cuomo had been publicly accused of groping an aide, Brittany Commisso, at the executive mansion in Albany last year.
“I give the victim here a lot of credit for coming forward with this,” Kaminsky said. “This is going to be highly public. I do think the sheriff believes her. They’ve corroborated to the best they can her account, and they’re ready to go with this.”
Kaminsky, who has prosecuted former public officials, agreed with Dan Abrams that the case will not be easy to prove because of the specific statute.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to whether the jury believes the victim and whether there is corroborating evidence supporting her charges,” Kaminsky said.
The office of the county’s district attorney, David Soares, which would handle any prosecution and was involved in the investigation, issued a statement saying it had been caught off guard by the filing.
“Like the rest of the public, we were surprised to learn today that a criminal complaint was filed in Albany City Court by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office against Andrew Cuomo,” it said. “The Office of Court Administration has since made that filing public. Our office will not be commenting further on this case.”
The office of Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple confirmed in a statement that a criminal summons had been issued ordering Cuomo to appear in Albany City Court at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 17.
Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, said in a statement that the Democrat never assaulted anyone, “and Sheriff Apple’s motives here are patently improper.”
“Sheriff Apple didn’t even tell the District Attorney what he was doing. But Apple’s behavior is no surprise given (1) his August 7 press conference where he essentially pronounced the governor guilty before doing an investigation, and (2) his Office’s leaking of grand jury information. This is not professional law enforcement; this is politics.”
The crime of forcible touching is punishable in New York by up to a year in jail and up to three years probation, with discretion for the court to impose lesser penalties including no jail time.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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