BREAKING: Former NY Governor Cuomo Criminally Charged With Groping Aide

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was criminally charged on Thursday with misdemeanor forcible touching for allegedly groping an executive assistant in his office when he was governor.

While the Times-Union reported that the Albany County Sheriff’s Office filed the complaint against Cuomo, 63, sources told the news outlet that it was filed prematurely and without consenting the victim, Brittany Commisso, or her attorney.

Sources close to the case said the police department and prosecutor’s office have not made a final decision regarding whether charges will formally be filed against Cuomo. However, a spokesperson for the Office of Court Administration confirmed to the Times-Union that a misdemeanor complaint was filed against the ex-governor in Albany City Court on Thursday.

According to the news outlet, a summons has ordered Cuomo to appear in court on November 17. Meanwhile, a law enforcement source said they were unaware the summons would be issued on Thursday, or it would be available to the public.

Cuomo resigned in late August, after the Attorney General’s Office’s released a 165-page report which determined he sexually harassed multiple women in the workplace, retaliated against one of his accusers for going public with her claims, and harbored a toxic work environment.

The embattled governor called for an independent probe into mounting sexual harassment allegations. In March, Attorney General James appointed former acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim and veteran employment lawyer Anne Clark to lead the investigation.

In light of the Attorney General’s report, Commisso filed a criminal complaint against the governor, claiming his unwanted touching was illegal.

Allegations of sexual harassment began mounting in late February when Cuomo’s former aide, Lindsey Boylan, detailed her alleged encounters with the governor in a Medium blog post. She wrote that Cuomo “abused his power” to sexually harass her and other women in the workplace.

Boylan, who reportedly first encountered Cuomo in January 2016, alleged he would touch her lower back, legs, and arms. Boylan wrote that she resigned in September 2018 because Cuomo’s top aides became hostile towards her for “speaking up for myself.” She said her resignation was also influenced by an instance in which Cuomo kissed her on the lips at his New York City office.

In the weeks that followed Boylan’s blog post, five more women, including at least three aides, came forward and accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. Cuomo has denied inappropriately touching anyone but apologized for behaving in a manner that made his female colleagues uncomfortable.

Cuomo said while announcing his resignation, “Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing.”

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[Featured image: Andrew Cuomo/Video screengrab]