Woman allegedly groped by Cuomo laments lack of prosecution
Brendan J. Lyons reports in the Times Union that Brittany Commisso, who accused Andrew Cuomo of groping her at the Executive Mansion while he was governor, denounced the Jan. 4 decision by Albany County District Attorney David Soares' office not to prosecute Cuomo. "My disappointing experience of re-victimization with the failure to prosecute a serial sexual abuser, no matter what degree the crime committed, yet again sadly highlights the reason victims are afraid to come forward, especially against people in power," Commisso said in a statement to the Times Union. "When will our voices uniformly be accepted? Where do we go to have our rights vindicated? Unfortunately, this is just another example of where our criminal justice system needs to do better.... To every victim out there silently suffering from sexual harassment at the hands of a powerful government official, wondering what will happen if you tell the truth, please don't let what has happened to me deter you from speaking up." Soares said Jan. 4 that, "While we found the complainant in this case cooperative and credible, after review of all the available evidence we have concluded that we cannot meet our burden at trial." Commisso said she met with representatives of the district attorney's office for several hours on Jan. 3, and she said they questioned whether jurors might interpret her actions during the alleged encounter as acquiescing to Cuomo's advances. She said she volunteered to take a polygraph lie-detector examination. She claims the prosecutors were concerned about Commisso's statement that she had nervously told Cuomo, "You're going to get us in trouble," when she said he hugged her in a sexually aggressive manner. Cuomo, she says, then slammed the door to his office, and said, "I don't care." Cuomo then, allegedly, put his hand up her blouse and cupped her breast without her permission. The 64-year-old Cuomo denies the allegations. Read more about this story in the Times Union.