A district attorney's office in Upstate New York has declined to pursue charges against former Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo, blaming the state's lackluster sexual harassment laws and legal precedent, the New York Post reported Monday.
The criminal charges considered by the office were in connection to allegations made by 55-year-old Virginia Limmiatis, who alleged Cuomo touched her without her consent in 2017.
"After a thorough review of the available evidence and applicable law, the Oswego County District Attorney's Office has concluded that there is not a sufficient legal basis to bring criminal charges against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo based upon the allegations of unwanted physical contact made by Virginia Limmiatis," the DA office said in a statement Monday.
"To be clear, this decision is based solely upon an assessment of the law and whether the people can establish a legally sufficient case under controlling precedent," he added. "In no way should this decision be interpreted as casting doubt upon the character or credibility of Ms. Limmiatis, or how harmful the acts she experienced were."
Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes emphasized to the Post, "this decision is not an exoneration."
"The current sex offense statutes in New York fail to properly hold offenders accountable and fail to adequately protect victims," Oakes said, CNBC reported. "If justice is to ever be obtained for the countless victims who are sexually abused and harassed in this state each day, the law must be revised and reformed to reflect the lived experiences of victims."
Last year, district attorneys in Nassau County and Westchester County declined to pursue charges against Cuomo, also citing statutory requirements of the criminal laws of New York, according to CNBC.
Additionally, a misdemeanor charge of forcible touching by Cuomo was dropped by the Albany County District Attorney's Office earlier in January after prosecutors said they could not meet the burden of proof at trial required by state law.
The former governor, who resigned in disgrace in August 2021, has denied touching anyone inappropriately.
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