On Friday, Jan. 7, the New York judge rejected Andrew Cuomo’s only criminal case at the prosecutor’s request.
According to Judge Holly Trexler, the district attorney has “unfettered discretion” in deciding whether or not to prosecute the matter.
“A court may not and should not interfere with discretion of a district attorney,” Trexler said according to the Associated Press.
The decision came after Albany County prosecutors stated they could not prove sexual harassment charges against the former New York governor and planned to drop them.
In a radio interview on Friday, Jan. 7, District Attorney David Soares of Albany County said that the attorney general’s probe is not subject to the same legal criteria as a criminal case.
The court assessed the evidence “and concluded we cannot successfully secure a conviction in this case,” Assistant District Attorney Jennifer McCanney told prosecutors.
Cuomo has denied groping an aide in the executive mansion in 2020.
“As the governor has said, this simply did not happen,” Cuomo’s attorney Rita Glavin said after the minutes-long hearing in Albany courtroom. “Today, reason and the rule of law prevailed. Not politics, rhetoric or mob mentality.”
If Cuomo’s accusers decide to take him to court, he might still face legal action. Some, including Brittany Commisso, Cuomo’s former staffer, have stated that they intend to do so.
Soares said the assistant is trustworthy, and there is evidence to back her up. However, he thinks that he will not win the case.
“Statutory elements of New York law make this case impossible to prove,” Soares wrote to Trexler on Tuesday, Jan. 4.
“My disappointing experience of re-victimization with the failure to prosecute a serial sexual abuser, no matter what degree the crime committed, yet again sadly highlights the reason victims are afraid to come forward, especially against people in power,” Commisso said on Tuesday, Jan. 4 to the Times Union of Albany.
In October 2021, two months after Cuomo resigned, the local sheriff submitted a misdemeanor case.
According to a study released by Democratic State Attorney General Letitia James, Cuomo has sexually harassed 11 women.
In August 2021, the US Department of Justice opened a civil investigation involving Cuomo’s sexual harassment charges. The investigation’s status is still unknown.