Westchester DA declines to pursue charges against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

District Attorney Mimi Rocah said the allegations did not constitute a crime.

December 28, 2021, 7:33 PM

Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah has declined to pursue criminal charges against former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for allegations made by two women that he kissed them on the cheek.

While her investigators found "credible evidence" that the alleged conduct had occurred, Rocah said the actions did not meet the requirement to be prosecuted as a criminal act.

"Our investigation found credible evidence to conclude that the alleged conduct in both instances did occur," Rocah wrote in a statement. "However, in both instances, my Office has determined that, although the allegations and witnesses were credible, and conduct concerning, we cannot pursue criminal charges due to the statutory requirements of the criminal laws of New York."

In this July 26, 2021, file photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference at New York's Yankee Stadium.
Richard Drew/AP, FILE

Rocah's investigation, which began after the release of New York Attorney General Letitia James' report on Cuomo, examined the accusations made by a state trooper on Cuomo's security detail and by a woman who alleged Cuomo gave her an unwanted kiss during an event at White Plains High School.

The trooper alleged that she was on duty at the governor's home in Mount Kisco when he asked if he could kiss her. She said that she said "sure" because she was afraid of the ramifications of saying no. He allegedly kissed her on the cheek and "then said something to the affect of, 'oh, I'm not supposed to do that' or 'unless that's against the rules,'" according to the attorney general's report.

The second woman alleged in the report that Cuomo grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him to kiss her on the cheek.

Rocah is the second prosecutor in recent weeks, after Nassau County District Attorney Joyce Smith, to decline to prosecute Cuomo based on his actions not meeting the statutory requirements for a criminal act. Smith made similar comments as Rocah, saying she found the allegations "credible, deeply troubling, but not criminal under New York law."

Editor's Note: This story originally said charges were not pressed because they were outside the statute of limitations. It has been updated to say that charges were not pressed against Cuomo because they did not meet the statutory requirements of the law, not because they were outside the statute of limitations.

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