Nassau DA Declines to Charge Cuomo With Alleged Sexual Harassment of Trooper

sex harassment
Gov. Andrew Cuomo arrives to depart in his helicopter after announcing his resignation in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 10, 2021. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo will not face criminal charges stemming from a female New York State trooper’s allegations that he made her feel uncomfortable when he put his hands on her in Elmont two years ago.

Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith issued a statement Thursday explaining her decision regarding the alleged incident of sexual harassment by Cuomo that State Attorney General Letitia James’ office detailed in her bombshell Aug. 3 report, which led to the ex-governor’s resignation in September.

“Our exhaustive investigation found the allegations credible, deeply troubling, but not criminal under New York law,” Smith said. “It is important to note that our investigation was limited to alleged conduct at Belmont Racetrack, and prosecutors in other jurisdictions continue to review other allegations of misconduct by Mr. Cuomo. We thank the brave individuals who came forward and cooperated with our office during this investigation.”

The alleged incident was one of many allegations from 11 women detailed in the James report.

The report stated that in 2019 in Belmont, an unidentified state police trooper dubbed “Trooper #1” claimed the governor “ran the palm of his left hand across her stomach in the direction opposite the direction that he was walking. The center of the governor’s hand was on Trooper #1’s belly button, and he pushed his hand back to her right hip where she kept her gun.”

Trooper #1 told investigators that she felt “completely violated because to me, like, that’s between my chest and my privates,” according to the report. She added that she and a senior investigator who witnessed the incident were “both still in shock about what happened,” according to the report, and “thought it was disgusting. We were creeped out.”

Investigators also interviewed the governor himself as a part of the probe. The report rejected Cuomo’s suggestions that his conduct was an innocent reflection of an affectionate Italian-American culture in which he was raised. Investigators found little credibility in his “blanket denials and lack of recollection as to specific incidents.”

“What these witnesses—and many others—described is not just old-fashioned, affectionate behavior,” the report concluded. “It was sexual harassment.”

Attorneys for Cuomo have denied the allegations and accused the attorney general, who briefly ran for governor before dropping out of the Democratic primary, of being politically motivated.

Smith was named acting DA after her Democratic predecessor, Medline Singas, was appointed to the New York State Court of Appeals earlier this year. Republican Anne Donnelly takes over the office on Jan. 1.

Cuomo is still facing criminal charges in Albany stemming from an alleged incident in the executive mansion.

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