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Albany DA Drops Criminal Charge Against Andrew Cuomo For Allegedly Groping Brittany Commisso

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Andrew Cuomo is no longer facing the prospect of getting fingerprinted this week for an alleged sex crime.

The misdemeanor charge of forcible touching has been dropped. The Albany County district attorney said he won't move forward on the case because he wouldn't be able to prove it in court, CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported.

There were two sides and no witnesses.

Former assistant Brittany Commisso said the former New York governor groped her in the Executive Mansion in Albany.

"He put his hand up my blouse and cupped by breast over my bra. I exactly remember looking down, seeing his hand, which is a large hand, thinking to myself, 'Oh, my God, this is happening,'" Commisso said last summer.

Cuomo insisted he never touched the 33-year-old former staffer.

"That never happened.. Let's just, you know, at one point there has to be a little reality to touch a woman's breast and make myself vulnerable to a woman for such an accusation. I am 63 years old. I have been in every public office, state, federal. Numerous people have tried to set me up. I am always wary of people. I have phenomenal precautions," Cuomo said.

Cuomo had been expected to appear before a judge on Friday. If it had gone to trial it would have been a "he said, she said" case, and although Albany DA David Soares said he found Commisso "credible," he decided to drop forcible touching charges against the state's former chief executive because, "After review of all the available evidence we have concluded that we cannot meet our burden at trial."

WEB EXTRA: Read the letter (.pdf) | Cuomo criminal complaint

Soares became the third district attorney to formally decline to prosecute Cuomo. The other two cases related to charges he inappropriately touched a female state trooper assigned to his protective detail.

The Albany prosecutor dropped the case, even though there may have been some small cracks in his assertions.

Cuomo's top aide and one of his chief defenders, secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa, told state investigators that while Cuomo told her he didn't grope Commisso, "He did not deny that he hugged her."

The Albany DA didn't let Cuomo off without a tongue lashing.

"I, like most New Yorkers, remain deeply troubled by allegations like the ones at issue here," Soares said, adding, "Such conduct has no place in government or in any workplace."

Cuomo is not completely out of the woods. Commisso's attorney said she will file a civil suit against Cuomo and the feds and the state attorney general are still looking at nursing home deaths and his controversial book deal.

Cuomo's spokesman declined to comment.

The Albany decision followed a decision by the Manhattan DA to close a separate nursing home investigation. Cuomo attorney Elkan Abramowitz said prosecutors told him there was "no evidence to suggest that any laws were broken."


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