Cuomo Won’t Face Criminal Charges Over 2 Harassment Complaints: District Attorney

By Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen
Reporter
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.
December 29, 2021 Updated: December 29, 2021

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo won’t face criminal charges over accusations that he kissed two women against their will, a prosecutor in Westchester County announced on Dec. 28.

District Attorney Mimi Rocah said in a statement that although her office’s investigation found credible evidence to conclude that the alleged conduct in both cases did occur, she wouldn’t be pursuing criminal charges against the Democrat.

Rocah said her office conducted a “thorough investigation” into allegations against Cuomo, and “has determined that, although the allegations and witnesses were credible, and the conduct concerning, we cannot pursue criminal charges due to the statutory requirements of the criminal laws of New York.”

Cuomo, who served as governor of New York for a decade, resigned in August following a slew of accusations from multiple women who accused him of unwanted sexual advances and contact. He has denied sexually harassing anyone or touching anyone inappropriately and said some of his behavior toward others could be misconstrued.

In one of the encounters investigated by Westchester County, a female state trooper said she was on duty in the security detail outside of Cuomo’s home in Mount Kisco, New York, when she asked the governor if he needed anything while he was in the driveway.

She said Cuomo “responded by asking her if he could kiss her,” and said she feared ramifications if she denied his request, and answered, “Sure.”

Cuomo then “said something to the effect of, ‘Oh, I’m not supposed to do that’ or ‘unless that’s against the rules,’” Rocah said in her statement.

The second allegation involved a woman who said Cuomo grabbed her arm, pulled her toward him, and kissed her on the cheek without her consent while the pair were at an event at White Plains High School.

Rocah’s statement noted that the decision not to pursue criminal charges against Cuomo is “unrelated” to potential civil liability, which would be beyond her jurisdiction.

Rocah said in a statement that her office will “continue to recognize the bravery of the women and witnesses who have cooperated with law enforcement.”

“We remain committed to supporting them and all survivors,” she said. “As in all cases of alleged misconduct, my office will investigate such claims irrespective of the position or status of the accusers or the accused.”

Rocah is the second New York prosecutor to decide against pursuing criminal charges against Cuomo. Days earlier, Joyce Smith, the acting district attorney in Nassau County, investigated a separate allegation and concluded that it was “deeply troubling,” but “not criminal under New York law.”

Cuomo resigned after the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a damning report that concluded that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. Several county prosecutors said they would investigate complaints in their jurisdictions.

The former governor also faced investigations over his office’s efforts to shield from lawmakers the extent of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes. A state ethics board later concluded that he had improperly used state employees to help write a book about his leadership skills, for which he received a $5.1 million advance.

The U.S. Department of Justice also opened an investigation into the complaints of workplace sexual harassment by Cuomo, according to records released by state lawmakers this month.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Isabel van Brugen
Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. She holds a master's in newspaper journalism from City, University of London.