Andrew Cuomo arraignment now on January 7 as prosecutor seeks more time
- The court adjourned a scheduled arraignment of Cuomo to January 7, 2021, on Soares' request
- The request from Soares comes a week after Cuomo was charged with committing a misdemeanor sex crime
- Soares said that his office still had hundreds of hours of videotaped testimony to review
The Andrew Cuomo saga was thrown into further turmoil on Friday as Albany County District Attorney David Soares, who is investigating accusations that former New York Governor groped a woman, asked a judge for more time to evaluate the evidence, saying the criminal complaint filed last week by the local sheriff was "potentially defective".
The court adjourned a scheduled arraignment of Cuomo to January 7, 2021, on Soares' request. Cuomo had been summoned to appear for an arraignment on November 17
The request from Soares comes a week after Cuomo was charged with committing a misdemeanor sex crime. The one-page complaint filed in Albany City Court by a sheriff's office investigator accuses Cuomo of forcible touching by putting his hand under a woman's shirt on December 7 last year.
Soares has said he was caught off guard by the filing. The attorney said in a letter to Judge Holly Trexler on Thursday that his office had been investigating the matter for several months.
"We were in the middle of that investigation when the Sheriff unilaterally and inexplicably filed a complaint in this court," Soares wrote in the letter, according to the Associated Press.
"Unfortunately, the filings in this matter are potentially defective in that 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," the letter states.
The district attorney said the sheriff's complaint, as filed, only included part of the woman's testimony, but left other parts out, including sections that could possibly be "exculpatory," meaning potentially helpful to Cuomo's defense.
Soares said that his office still had hundreds of hours of videotaped testimony to review and that it anticipates receiving more material with deadlines for a speedy trial approaching.
"The purpose of this adjournment is to give my office time to continue with our independent and unbiased review of the facts of this case," Soares wrote in the letter.
The complaint did not name the woman, but she has identified herself as Brittany Commisso, who worked as one of Cuomo's executive assistants before he resigned amid sexual harassment allegations in August.
Forcible touching is a misdemeanor in New York, punishable by up to a year in jail, though many cases for first-time offenders are resolved with probation or a shorter jail sentence.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied touching anyone inappropriately.
He resigned from office in August after an investigative report, overseen by New York Attorney General Letitia James, concluded that Cuomo has sexually harassed 11 women.