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Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces a misdemeanor sex charge

Andrew Cuomo, seen last year during a news conference, now faces a criminal complaint. It charges the former New York governor with a misdemeanor sex crime.
Jacquelyn Martin
Andrew Cuomo, seen last year during a news conference, now faces a criminal complaint. It charges the former New York governor with a misdemeanor sex crime.

Updated October 28, 2021 at 6:08 PM ET

A misdemeanor criminal complaint of forcible touching has been filed against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who faces allegations he forcibly touched a female staff member.

This is the only criminal charge against Cuomo since he resigned under pressure in August, facing allegations of sexual harassment involving 11 women.

The Albany County Sheriff's Department opened a probe in September and the complaint was filed Thursday by Amy Kowalski, one of the department's investigators.

The complaint, viewed by NPR, accuses Cuomo of forcibly touching "the genitals or other intimate parts" of an individual at the governor's mansion in December of last year.

One of Cuomo's former staffers publicly accused Cuomo of touching her under her shirt during a work-related visit.

Filing of the complaint was confirmed by Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the New York State court system.

"A misdemeanor complaint was filed in Albany City Court against the former governor this afternoon," Chalfen said in his statement. "As this is a sex crime, a redacted complaint will be available shortly."

Thursday evening, Cuomo's attorney Rita Glavin issued a statement saying Cuomo "has never assaulted anyone."

She accused Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple of mounting a politically motivated investigation.

"This is not professional law enforcement; this is politics," Gavin said.

Cuomo has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and said his career was ended by a political witch hunt.

However, Cuomo has never articulated a clear explanation for why his fellow Democrats in the state legislature, the Attorney General's Office and the Albany County Sheriff's office would mount such a campaign.

New York state Attorney General Letitia James, who conducted a probe that produced damning evidence about Cuomo's behavior issued a statement late Thursday.

"The criminal charges brought today against Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report," James said.

According to a statement from the Albany County Sheriff's office, a criminal summons has been issued for Cuomo to appear in court on Nov. 17.

As a class A misdemeanor, forcible touching could result in up to a year behind bars if he were to be convicted.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Brian Mann is NPR's first national addiction correspondent. He also covers breaking news in the U.S. and around the world.