UTICA, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Former Governor Andrew Cuomo will not face criminal charges after women came forward with allegations. Eyewitness News spoke with a local district attorney who explains why charges were dropped in a case like this.
“Most of the time those cases boil down to he said she said,” said Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara.
McNamara explains with a case like this, it has to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt to convince a jury that these events actually happened, and in a case like this, there is not much evidence, especially when the other party is saying it did not happen. The DA says a high-profile figure like the former governor will go to trial, not plead guilty and he has the money to fight the allegations.
“You’re up against a very good defense with a high profile figure and another problem with high profile figures whether we like it or not it’s very hard to convict those people,” said McNamara.
The DA says this is because people judge the credibility of a public figure based on how they’ve seen them portrayed to the public. And it’s very unlikely even if Cuomo was convicted that he would go to jail.
“You take out the fact of who he is people that have never been in trouble before this is a minor offense and that’s not the kind of case judges put people in jail for. You have to look at what you’re trying to accomplish here too and if you’re trying to accomplish accountability the civil case would be easier to prove,” said McNamara.
What is the difference between a civil and a criminal case?
“In a criminal case we have to prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and that means every single juror has to believe the person did it beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, they have to be approved by a preponderance of the evidence and it’s an easier case to prove,” McNamara explained.