Andrew Cuomo was arraigned on Friday, but it was rescheduled for January. The Albany County District Attorney informed the court that the complaint alleging misdemeanor sexual-crime against the former governor of New York is "potentially flawed."
David Soares, the Albany City district attorney, stated to the judge that the complaint was "unilaterally, inexplicably filed" during an investigation by his office. He also said that it did not include key testimony from the victim.
Two months after Cuomo quit as New York governor, the complaint was filed in October. It came two months after a damning report by Attorney General Letitia Jamming detailed multiple allegations of sexual harassment made against Cuomo. James announced last week she would run for governor in 2022.
Cuomo, aged 63, was accused of forcible touch, a Class B misdemeanor. Cuomo, 63, could be sentenced to up to one year in prison or up to three years probation if convicted.
The ex-governor was scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 17. The initial court appearance was moved to January 7, after Soares requested a 60-day adjournment to address a variety of issues. This included the fact that Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple had "unilaterally, inexplicably" filed a complaint in the Court during the DA's investigation.
Soares wrote to Judge Holly Trexler on Thursday, "Unfortunately, the filings in that matter are potentially defective."
Specifically, "the police-officer-complainant failed to include a sworn statement by the victim such that the People could proceed with a prosecution on these papers," Soares wrote.
"What was included in the complaint was a section of a transcript from the victim's testimony given in a separate proceeding," explained the DA. "But that portion excluded an oath and, more troublingly, excluded other portions her testimony wherein she described the exact same acts as in the complaint."
Soares also wrote that a portion of the complaint "misstates relevant law".
Trexler was asked by Trexler to explain the delay due to the complex nature of the case. He cited "hundreds upon hours of videotaped witness testimony that must be reviewed" and "provided to" Cuomo.
Soares stated that the temporary adjournment would "reduce risk of procedural dismissal in this case."
Apple said last week to reporters that he also had plans for the complaint to file at a later time, after having spoken to Soares' and Cuomo’s lawyers.
Apple stated that "we kind of got sandbagged,". "Everything happened too quickly... We expected the documents to be reviewed. We didn't expect a turnaround of five minutes.
Apple maintained, however, that despite the timing issues, it was a solid case.
Cecilia Walsh, Soares' communications director, confirmed that Trexler had granted the postponement but declined to comment further. Cuomo's attorney did not respond immediately to a request for comment.