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Westchester DA won’t charge Andrew Cuomo despite ‘credible’ allegations

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 12/28/2021 Eugene Scott
Former New York governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference earlier this year. © Richard Drew/AP Former New York governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference earlier this year.

Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah said Tuesday that allegations by two women that former New York governor Andrew M. Cuomo had kissed them on the cheek against their will were credible, but that she nonetheless would not pursue criminal charges because of New York state’s statutory requirements.

“We continue to recognize the bravery of the women and witnesses who have cooperated with law enforcement and we remain committed to supporting them and all survivors,” Rocah said in a statement.

The district attorney’s statement described the allegations of the two women, which had been outlined in an earlier report by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D).

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One woman, identified as Trooper 1, recounted that while on duty at Cuomo’s home in Mount Kisco, she asked the then-governor whether he needed anything, and he responded by asking her if he could kiss her.

She replied, “Sure,” because she was concerned about the ramifications of denying the governor’s request, she said. Cuomo then kissed her on the cheek and, according to the attorney general’s report, “said something to the effect of, ‘Oh, I’m not supposed to do that,’ or ‘unless that’s against the rules.’ ”

A spokesman for Cuomo said any interaction with the trooper was minimal and routine.

“As he has said many times, Governor Cuomo did not remember touching the trooper, but said that it was a common custom for him to acknowledge the presence of a trooper — male or female — holding a door as he walked past them,” spokesman Rich Azzopardi said. "This was only meant to be an acknowledgment of their presence and nothing more.”

Another woman alleged that Cuomo grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him before kissing her on the cheek, without her permission, at an event at White Plains High School.

Rocah praised the women and the witnesses who cooperated with law enforcement but suggested that it would be difficult to obtain a conviction.

“My office has determined that, although the allegations and witnesses were credible, and the conduct concerning, we cannot pursue criminal charges due to the statutory requirements of the criminal laws of New York,” Rocah said.

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