New York Governor Andrew Cuomo arrives to depart in his helicopter after announcing his resignation in New York City, August 10, 2021. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

The Oswego County district attorney in upstate New York has decided to drop its investigation of former governor Andrew Cuomo over a sexual harassment allegation, citing an inability to prove the allegation beyond a reasonable doubt.

Gregory Oakes, the district attorney, said in a statement that “there is not a sufficient legal basis” to charge Cuomo based on the allegation brought by Virginia Limmiatis, a National Grid employee in Syracuse. Limmiatis claimed Cuomo touched her chest at an event in 2017.

“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,” Oakes said. “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.”

Limmiatis stood by her claim in comments to the media.

“Cuomo not only touched my chest inappropriately, but whispered in my ear afterwards to make up a patently ridiculous excuse to cover up his behavior,” Limmiatis said in a statement. “I immediately spoke to multiple people about what Cuomo had done to me, precisely because I was so disturbed and upset by it. At the same time, I did not report him publicly, because he was the Governor, and I was fearful of him.”

Oakes is the fifth district attorney to end an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against the former governor, which were compiled in an August 2021 report by New York attorney general Letitia James. Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi blasted James’s report in comments to CNN.

“As now five DAs have verified, none of the accusations in Tish James’ fraud of a report have stood up to any level of real scrutiny,” Azzopardi said, calling the report a “political hit job.”

Earlier this month, Albany County district attorney David Soares announced his office would drop misdemeanor charges against Cuomo. The charges were filed after a former aide claimed Cuomo groped her while at the Executive Mansion in December 2020.

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