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Second NY prosecutor declines to seek criminal charges against Cuomo

Miriam E
Rocah, the Westchester County district attorney, said Tuesday that her office
had investigated accusations of unwanted kisses that two women — one a state
trooper — made against Cuomo. The women said the episodes had occurred within
her jurisdiction.

The women’s
allegations were “credible” and Cuomo’s conduct was “concerning,” but his
conduct was not criminal under state law, Rocah said in a statement.

The
announcement came five days after Joyce Smith, acting district attorney in
Nassau County, reached a similar conclusion after investigating a separate
allegation made by the trooper involving an incident at Belmont Park racetrack
in Elmont, New York.

Smith said
that her inquiry had found the accusation “credible, deeply troubling, but not
criminal under New York law.”

A spokesperson
for Cuomo declined to comment. The former governor has repeatedly denied acting
inappropriately with women, and he has insisted that the actions that gave rise
to the sexual harassment allegations against him were misinterpreted.

In August,
Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, released a report that detailed 11
women’s sexual misconduct allegations against Cuomo. Some of Cuomo’s accusers
were state employees, including the trooper, who was a member of his security
detail. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, resigned shortly after the report was
issued.

The trooper,
who has not been publicly identified, told investigators that Cuomo had asked
her in 2019 if he could kiss her while she was on duty outside the home in
Mount Kisco, New York, where he was living at the time, according to Rocah’s
statement and the attorney general’s report.

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Fearful of
saying no, she obliged, allowing him to kiss her on the cheek, according to
Rocah.

Cuomo then
“said something to the effect of, ‘Oh, I’m not supposed to do that’ or ‘unless
that’s against the rules,’” Rocah said in her statement.

Thomas H.
Mungeer, president of the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent
Association, said in a statement that he “would not play Monday morning
quarterback regarding the district attorney’s decision to not prosecute the
former governor’s abhorrent conduct against a trooper.”

“However,”
he added, “our trooper continues to live with what happened to her at the hands
of someone she was tasked to protect.”

The second
set of allegations that Rocah’s office investigated, which was not covered in
the attorney general’s report, involved a White Plains, New York, public school
office manager who has said Cuomo kissed her without her consent after a 2018
event at a local high school.

“He grabbed
my arm and pulled me toward him and kissed me on the cheek without asking if I
was OK with such a personal greeting,” the woman, Susan Iannucci, said at an
August news conference, according to lohud.com. “I smiled nervously afterward.
I had to endure comments from people in attendance.”

“We are
gratified that the district attorney’s office in their press statement today
indicated that they found her allegation and Susan to be credible,” said Gloria
Allred, Iannucci’s lawyer.

Rocah noted
in her statement that her decision not to prosecute Cuomo did not preclude his
accusers from suing him.

Cuomo does
face a misdemeanor sex crime charge in Albany County based on a criminal
complaint filed by the sheriff there. The Albany County district attorney,
David Soares, who called the complaint “potentially defective,” has not yet
committed to prosecuting the case.

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“As of now,
that is still the scheduled court appearance date,” Cecilia Walsh, a
spokesperson for Soares, said Tuesday. “There are no additional updates at this
time.”

The Oswego
County district attorney’s office, which is investigating an allegation
concerning an incident involving Cuomo in its jurisdiction, did not respond to
a request for comment. A spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney,
which has also opened an inquiry, declined to comment.

© 2022The
New York Times Company

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