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Former Governor Andrew Cuomo accused of ‘forcible touching:’ What’s next?

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ALBANY N.Y. — Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been accused in a criminal complaint with groping a female aide’s breast inside the executive mansion.

The complaint was filed in the Albany city court based on the account of one of nearly a dozen women who accused the former governor of sexual harassment leading to his resignation in August.

Leslie Silva, Central New York attorney, says the next step is formally charging Andrew Cuomo with a crime and she says it is unclear whether this has happened yet.

In the meantime, the Albany County District Attorney and the Sheriff’s Office can keep their investigation going.

The charge filed today by the Albany County sheriff’s department is sexual assault. Attorney Leslie Silva laid it out in more specific terms.

“Forcible touching which is intentionally touching someone for sexual gratification or some other nefarious purpose,” said Silva.

A former aide came forward publicly months ago. She accused Andrew Cuomo of groping her and filed a criminal complaint with the Albany county sheriff back in August.

The Next Steps:
“They are going to give him the opportunity to turn himself in at which point he will be formally arrested,” said Silva. “From there he will be given a notice to appear in court and then he will be formally arraigned.”

It will then be up to a judge to tell the former governor what he’s charged with, advise him of his rights, and make sure he has an attorney before going to trial – all legal formalities Andrew Cuomo will be very familiar with, as a former attorney general of New York state.

“All the while, there’s going to be some discussion about settlement, can we resolve this without a trial, that comes up in every case–criminal and civil. It is a possibility here,” said Silva.

If convicted, it will be up to the judge to determine the sentence—Silva says some options for punishment for forcible touching are one year of jail time, three years of probation, or a mix of the two with some community service. Silva also says the possibility also exists that if convicted, Cuomo could be forced to register as a sex offender.

“This crime is listed on the sex offender eligible crimes for you to have to register,’ said Silva. “It doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a required crime, it’s essentially up to the judge, but it is possible.”

Yet another possibility is that at some point, the case is dismissed. This could happen either because of a technicality or if the evidence is not as strong as the investigators thought it would be.

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