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Andrew Cuomo Is Charged in Sexual Misconduct Complaint

A criminal complaint accusing former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of forcible touching has been filed in Albany City Court, a spokesman for New York State’s court system said on Thursday.

“A misdemeanor complaint was filed in Albany City Court against the former governor this afternoon,” said the spokesman, Lucian Chalfen.

The complaint came more than two months after Brittany Commisso, a former aide to Mr. Cuomo, filed a criminal complaint against him with the Albany County sheriff’s office. She accused him of groping her breast while they were alone in his residence late last year.

The complaint, signed by an investigator from the Albany County sheriff’s office, Amy Kowalski, said Mr. Cuomo did “intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly place his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim and onto her intimate body part.” It said Mr. Cuomo touched the victim’s left breast “for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires, all contrary to the provisions of the statute.”

The complaint, which was signed on Oct. 25, said the incident took place on the afternoon of Dec. 7, 2020, on the second floor of the governor’s Executive Mansion on Eagle Street in Albany. The name of the female victim was redacted from the complaint.

There was some confusion on Thursday afternoon surrounding the complaint, which was first reported by New York Focus.

The Times Union of Albany reported that the complaint was filed erroneously and that neither Ms. Commisso nor her lawyer were aware of it. The report said that neither the sheriff’s office nor the Albany district attorney’s office had decided whether to file charges against Mr. Cuomo.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office would not confirm that the complaint had been filed erroneously, or answer any questions about it. A spokeswoman for the Albany district attorney office did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Forcible touching is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to one year in prison. To prove it, prosecutors must show that the defendant acted either to degrade his victim, or for his own sexual gratification. Prosecutors would have to prove several elements of the crime, including that Mr. Cuomo’s touching of Ms. Commisso was not accidental, but carried out intentionally and with force.

Mr. Cuomo and his personal lawyer have repeatedly denied that he inappropriately touched Ms. Commisso, who worked as an executive assistant, and have repeatedly cast doubt on her allegation.

A lawyer and spokesman for Mr. Cuomo did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Ms. Commisso could not immediately be reached for comment.

The complaint against the former governor marked the most stunning fallout yet since Mr. Cuomo resigned in August after the release of a report from the state attorney general on Aug. 3. The report found that the former governor had sexually harassed numerous women, including current and former government employees, and fostered a hostile work environment.

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