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Ex-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo won’t be charged by Oswego County district attorney

<i>David Dee Delgado/Getty Images</i><br/>Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will not be criminally charged after an investigation by the Oswego County district attorney.
Getty Images
David Dee Delgado/Getty Images
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will not be criminally charged after an investigation by the Oswego County district attorney.

By Sonia Moghe, CNN

An upstate New York prosecutor announced Monday that he will not bring criminal charges against Andrew Cuomo, after investigating an allegation of unwanted physical contact by the former Democratic governor.

Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes said in a statement that his office has concluded that “there is not a sufficient legal basis” to criminally charge Cuomo based on allegations made by Virginia Limmiatis.

Limmiatis, an energy company worker, told investigators that Cuomo touched her chest during a May 2017 conservation event in Oswego County, New York.

Oakes said he found Limmiatis to be reliable and reasonable.

“In no way should this decision be interpreted as casting doubt upon the character or credibility of Ms. Limmiatis, or how harmful the acts she experienced were,” Oakes said. “This investigation makes clear what victims, their advocates, police, and prosecutors have said for years: The current sex offense statutes in New York fail to properly hold offenders accountable and fail to adequately protect victims.”

In a statement to CNN, Limmiatis and her attorney Mariann Wang said that while Cuomo will not be criminally charged, it does not mean he is “innocent.”

“Cuomo not only touched my chest inappropriately, but whispered in my ear afterwards to make up a patently ridiculous excuse to cover up his behavior,” Limmiatis said. “I immediately spoke to multiple people about what Cuomo had done to me, precisely because I was so disturbed and upset by it. At the same time, I did not report him publicly, because he was the Governor, and I was fearful of him.”

Wang said the decision not to charge Cuomo does not mean he acted “appropriately or lawfully,” but she thanked the Oswego County district attorney’s office for its consideration of the allegation.

In a statement to CNN, Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi once again slammed New York Attorney General Letitia James’ report on harassment allegations against Cuomo as politically motivated, calling it a “political hit job.”

“As now five DAs have verified, none of the accusations in Tish James’ fraud of a report have stood up to any level of real scrutiny,” Azzopardi said.

Cuomo attorney Rita Glavin pointed to photos of the incident that were shared after the report was released, saying the photos “indisputably” showed that Cuomo did not act inappropriately.

Oakes is the fifth district attorney to decide not to prosecute Cuomo after looking into allegations outlined in a report by investigators hired by James’ office, which detailed allegations of harassment from 11 different women against the former New York Governor.

The most serious allegation led to Cuomo being charged with misdemeanor forcible touching by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, only for the county’s district attorney, David Soares, to later decline to prosecute the former Governor on the charge, saying that while he found the woman who alleged that Cuomo groped her at the Governor’s Mansion in 2020 was “credible,” he felt his office could not “meet our burden at trial.”

District attorneys in Manhattan and Westchester and Nassau counties also looked into allegations outlined in the report and separately announced they would not pursue charges against Cuomo.

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