Andrew Cuomo Avoids Charges Over Touching Trooper, DA Calls Allegations ‘Troubling’

Though a New York district attorney on Thursday called a state trooper’s allegation that Andrew Cuomo had inappropriately touched her « credible » and « troubling, » the former governor will not face criminal charges.

Following Attorney General Letitia James’ August report describing 11 women’s sexual harassment claims against Cuomo, Nassau County Acting District Attorney Joyce Smith opened an investigation into the accusations of the state trooper, who had been part of Cuomo’s security detail.

In the report, the woman, referred as « Trooper #1, » described an incident on September 23, 2019, after the then-governor broke ground on a new National Hockey League arena at Belmont Park. She said that while she held a door open for him as he was leaving the event, he ran his hand across her abdomen, belly button and hip.

The trooper said in the report she felt « completely violated because to me, like that’s between my chest and my privates. »

The trooper also described several other incidents in the report, such as Cuomo asking to kiss her and him touching her neck and back without her consent.

However, due to where the alleged incidents took place, the Nassau County investigation was could only investigate the September 2019 allegation. Smith said the account of the incident was « credible, deeply troubling, but not criminal under New York law. »

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo won’t face criminal charges after a female state trooper said she felt “completely violated” by his unwanted touching at an event at Belmont Park in September of 2019, a Long Island prosecutor said on December 23, 2021. Above, Cuomo prepares to board a helicopter after announcing his resignation on August 10, 2021.
Seth Wenig, File/AP Photo

James’ report said that although the trooper was upset by Cuomo’s unwanted touching, she did not feel she could do anything about it.

« I’m a trooper, newly assigned to the travel team. Do I want to make waves? No, » she said, according to the report. « I’ve heard horror stories about people getting kicked off the detail or transferred over like little things….I had no plans to report it. »

The trooper told James’ investigators that what happened at Belmont Park was just one of many instances of Cuomo’s « flirtatious » and « creepy » behavior toward her.

One time, in an elevator, he traced his finger from her neck to her back, she said. Another time, he asked to kiss her in the driveway outside his Mount Kisco home, she said.

« I remember just freezing, being—in the back of my head, I’m like, ‘Oh, how do I say no politely?' » she told investigators.

The Nassau County investigation was limited to the encounter at Belmont Park, which is on the county’s border with New York City. Authorities in other parts of the state have been looking into other allegations in James’ report.

In October, the Albany County sheriff’s office filed a misdemeanor groping complaint against Cuomo, but a week later the district attorney asked a judge for more time to evaluate the evidence.

The D.A. said that the sheriff’s one-page criminal complaint, based on allegations from a woman who said Cuomo slid his hand up her blouse and grabbed her breast at the governor’s mansion in late 2020, was « potentially defective. »

At the prosecutor’s request, a court delayed Cuomo’s scheduled arraignment until January 7.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo won’t face criminal charges for inappropriately touching a state trooper on his security detail in September of 2019, the Nassau County acting district attorney said on December 23, 2021. Above, people participate in a protest against Cuomo and for a moratorium on evictions on August 4, 2021, in New York City.
Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

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