Andrew Cuomo’s case delayed over problems with accusations filed against him

Criminal charges against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo could be dropped, according to new reporting from The New York Times that detailed a “potentially defective” complaint against the politician. 

Cuomo was due in court on November 17 but that date has now been delayed until January 7 as an investigation into the misdemeanor criminal complaint which accused the former governor of “knowingly and intentionally the class A misdemeanor of Forcible Touching,” is being investigated.

“The sex-crime case against former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was thrown into doubt on Friday after the Albany County district attorney wrote an extraordinary letter to the court in which he characterized a criminal complaint as ‘potentially defective’ because it did not include a sworn statement by the victim that would allow a prosecution to proceed,” the Times reported.

District Attorney David Soares took issue with the Albany County sheriff’s “unilaterally and inexplicably” filing the complaint last week without taking into account Soares’s own investigation that was still underway.

In a letter to an Albany, N.Y., judge, Soares noted “several potential problems with the sheriff’s filing.”

The DA went on, “saying that the failure to include a sworn statement from the alleged victim, Brittany Commisso, was hindering the district attorney’s office’s ability to ‘proceed with a prosecution on these papers.’”

According to the DA, at least part of Commisso’s testimony didn’t make it into the complaint, and at least one part of the document misstated the law at issue:

According to Town Hall, the questions about the complaint get worse, however:

Mr. Soares described portions of Ms. Commisso’s testimony that were not included in the complaint as ‘exculpatory,’ meaning that the evidence could be favorable to Mr. Cuomo. Experts cautioned that could mean something as narrow as a statement being inconsistent.

Mr. Soares, a Democrat, asked the judge, Holly Trexler of Albany City Court, to delay Mr. Cuomo’s arraignment, which had been scheduled for Nov. 17, for 60 days “to reduce the risk of a procedural dismissal of this case” and to give the district attorney “time to continue with our independent and unbiased review of the facts in this case.”

Even more troubling, as Soares himself called it, the sheriff’s filing on the former governor “excluded other portions of her testimony where she described the very same acts described in the complaint.”

The plethora of issues with the Albany County filing against Cuomo, combined with other concerns from the district attorney’s office could spell at least a delay in action for Cuomo while the truth is sifted from bias.

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