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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that the former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will not face any charges.
According to DA Madeline Singas, the investigation found no misconduct by Schneiderman’s staff in the Office of the Attorney General.
“I believe the women who shared their experiences with our investigation team, however legal impediments, including statutes of limitations, preclude criminal prosecution. Our investigation also highlighted deficiencies in New York law for which I have drafted remedial legislation,” Singas said.
In May, Schneiderman resigned after four women, whom he was romantically involved with or had romantic interactions with, accused him of physical violence in accounts published by The New Yorker.
Derrick Hogan, a partner and lawyer at Tully Rinckey says that this is only categorized as harassment, which is not a misdemeanor.
“That’s like a petty offense and the statute of limitations is only a year on that,” Hogan said.
Schneiderman, who had been running for re-election, said he contested the women’s accounts, but “while these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time.”
Singas says she believes the women who shared their experience with her investigation team; however, legal impediments, including statutes of limitations, preclude criminal prosecution.
“Our team interviewed members of Mr. Schneiderman’s security detail, employees of the Office of the Attorney General, potential witnesses identified during the pendency of our investigation, and we followed-up on each call to the tip line we established for this matter.”
Singas did propose a bill that would address what she is calling a deficiency in state law. If adopted, the bill would allow for someone who hits, punches, or kicks someone for their sexual gratification to be charged with sexual harassment.
Hogan says there would be a gray area in proving the motivation behind the assault.
“It’s always tough to prove that someone touched you or had some sort of interaction for the purpose of someone’s sexual gratification.”
Different groups, including the National Organization of Women, are calling on the state legislature to pass this bill.
New York Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood will return to her role as state solicitor general when Letitia James becomes attorney general.
The New York GOP issued this statement:
“The decision to not bring any criminal charges against Eric Schneiderman is an appalling miscarriage of justice. Mr. Schneiderman’s serial sexual abuse and violence against women while serving as the state’s top law enforcement officer portraying himself as a champion of the Me Too movement was a particularly egregious violation of both the law and the public’s trust. A powerful politician escaping criminal charges for his actions is not only a slap in the face to his victims, but sends a dangerous message to abusers and sets back the movement to ensure protections for women. We are cognizant of legal statutes of limitations, but it’s nonetheless outrageous Mr. Schneiderman will not be held accountable for his crimes.”