ALBANY — A judge has delayed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s arraignment on sex crime charges following a request from Albany County District Attorney David Soares.
Soares wrote Judge Holly Trexler on Thursday that the “inexplicably filed” criminal charge was “potentially defective” and at “risk of a procedural dismissal.”
A misdemeanor complaint of forcible touching was filed against Cuomo last week over allegations that he groped former staffer Brittany Commisso at the Executive Mansion in 2020.
The complaint came from an investigation conducted by Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, whose probe relied in part on similar investigations conducted by the state Assembly and Attorney General Tish James. Apple has said he was “sandbagged” by the complaint being processed far more quickly than normal. But he promised it was still “a solid case.”
Soares, who had been conducting his own investigation, disagreed.
“Unfortunately the filings in this matter are potentially defective in that the police-officer-complainant failed to include a sworn statement by the victim such that the People could proceed with a prosecution on these papers,” he wrote to Trexler. “What was included with the complaint was a portion of a transcript of the victim’s statement given in a separate proceeding, but that portion excluded an oath, and, even more troubling, excluded other portions of her testimony where she described the very same acts described in the complaint.”
Those excluded parts of the testimony, Soares added in a footnote, are of an “exculpatory nature” and have been shared with Cuomo’s attorney.
He also said that “the complaint misstates the relevant law.”
The district attorney asked for the arraignment, which was due to occur on Nov. 17, to be delayed as his office continues to sort through evidence. Trexler has agreed, and Cuomo’s court date is now due to occur in January.
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