ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The woman who accused former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of fondling her in the executive mansion said a prosecutor’s decision to drop the case shows why victims fear coming forward against powerful people.
Brittany Commisso, one of Cuomo’s executive assistants before he resigned, released a statement late Tuesday, hours after the district attorney in Albany announced the former governor would not face criminal prosecution over the allegation, saying he couldn’t prove the case.
“My disappointing experience of re-victimization with the failure to prosecute a serial sexual abuser, no matter what degree the crime committed, yet again sadly highlights the reason victims are afraid to come forward, especially against people in power,” Commisso said in a statement to the Times Union of Albany. “When will our voices uniformly be accepted? Where do we go to have our rights vindicated? Unfortunately, this is just another example of where our criminal justice system needs to do better.”
Albany County District Attorney David Soares asked a judge to dismiss a forcible touching charge against Cuomo. Soares said that while Commisso was cooperative and credible, prosecutors concluded that they couldn’t prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Cuomo has denied the allegation, and has had no comment on the development.
Commisso said: “To every victim out there silently suffering from sexual harassment at the hands of a powerful government official, wondering what will happen if you tell the truth, please don’t let what has happened to me deter you from speaking up.”