Created: August 04, 2021 05:17 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Allegations of sexual misconduct by Gov. Andrew Cuomo could turn into criminal charges well beyond Albany.
Several local district attorneys now report they are looking for more information and evidence.
“It's pretty clear that we have an obligation here,” explained Albany County District Attorney David Soares, “and thus we've reached out to the Attorney General's office seeking all the evidence, which they uncovered and relied upon to offer their report.”
On Tuesday, state Attorney General Letitia James unveiled findings that cited 11 women who accused the governor of sexual harassment or unwanted physical contact.
The AG’s report says working for the governor was a “hostile work environment” marked by “fear,” “intimidation” and “retaliation.”
On NBC News, Soares said, yes, his office is now looking into possible criminal charges over the allegations against Gov. Cuomo.
And he has company, including Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley.
After James’ announcement Doorley’s office said the DA’s “Economic Crimes/Public Corruption Bureau is reviewing the AG’s Report and related public documents.”
Likewise, Westchester County’s DA is asking for information on one of the 11 women accusing the governor, a state trooper who said she was the target at Cuomo’s house in Mount Kisco.
In a tweet, DA, Mimi Rocah said, “As some of the Governor’s conduct described in the report occurred in Westchester County, we have formally requested Investigative Materials Obtained by the AG’s office.”
Soares said his office had started looking into the allegations months ago, then stopped when the Attorney General’s investigation began and is now ready to ramp back up.
“The allegations, early on in the in the various journals that were printing stories very early on, certainly led myself and other prosecutors with concurrent jurisdiction to, to believe that criminal activity in fact had taken place,” Soares said.
It's a similar story in Manhattan, where DA Cyrus Vance’s office is launching its own “sex crimes” investigation saying “our office contacted the Attorney General’s Office to begin requesting investigative materials in their possession pertaining to incidents that occurred in Manhattan.”
On Long Island, Nassau County’s acting DA has called the allegations “deeply disturbing” and is also asking for documents regarding incidents that may have happened there.
Soares said turning any of these allegations into a criminal case will ultimately depend on a formal complaint from an alleged victim.
He says the work has begun to get any of those 11 women on board.
“It's really difficult to ask victims to come forward,” he admitted, “which is why these cases are the most underreported cases, but we're hoping that with the services that we provide here in Albany County, that we can, we can get that information and do so very discreetly so for any victim that's out there watching this.”
Soares said his office put its inquiry on hold when the Attorney General's Office started one, but now that those results are in, it's time to pick it up again.
He said he has reached out to some of the alleged victims but hasn't heard back yet.
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