Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has escaped criminal charges after being accused of physically abusing several women, after a six-month investigation said the statute of limitations prevented any form of prosecution.
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, who was appointed to probe the allegations of Schneiderman threatening, abusing and demeaning several women, announced the probe was complete.
“Following an exhaustive review, evaluation of the facts, the law, and applicable statutes of limitations, I have concluded our investigation into the allegations of physical abuse allegedly committed by former New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman without criminal charges,” Singas said in a statement, adding that they “found no misconduct by Mr. Schneiderman’s staff.”
Singas said she assembled an experienced team of prosecutors and investigators, and “personally interviewed each of the women who cooperated with our investigation along with their attorneys.”
Singas said the team also interviewed members of Schneiderman’s security detail, employees in the attorney general’s office, and potential witnesses identified during the investigation.
“I believe the women who shared their experiences with our investigation team, however legal impediments, including statutes of limitations, preclude criminal prosecution,” Singas said. “Our investigation also highlighted deficiencies in New York law for which I have drafted remedial legislation.”
The legislation was sent to the New York legislature by the district attorney’s office to “strengthen laws that protect victims of sexually-motivated violence.”
“This legislation fills a gap in the law that is essential to properly sanction sexually-motivated violence that may leave the victims with deep emotional wounds, even if they do not sustain physical injuries as defined under New York penal law,” Singas said in a statement. “This new misdemeanor-level offense will afford law enforcement an additional tool to protect victims of domestic abuse, and I encourage the legislature to pass this bill next session.”
But regardless of the proposed legislation, Schneiderman is off the hook.
The accusations first surfaced in a report by The New Yorker in May, detailing four women’s claims, including choking a former girlfriend and demanding another, who was born in Sri Lanka and whom Schneiderman reportedly referred to as his “brown slave,” call him “Master.”
Schneidermann was forced to resign from his post as the state’s top law enforcement officer, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered an “immediate investigation.”
Schneiderman denied the accusations in May.
“In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone,” Schneiderman said after The New Yorker published the article. “I have never engaged in non-consensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”
Prominent Democrats, like Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, said they had no prior knowledge of the alleged behavior. The New York Police Department, at the time, told Fox News that it had “no complaints” against the attorney general on file -- but if it “receives complaints of a crime, it will investigate them thoroughly.”
But Trump himself suggested in a cryptic Sept. 11, 2013 tweet that Schneiderman had skeletons in his closet. He tweeted that Schneiderman would be “next,” following the resignations of Gov. Eliot Spitzer over a prostitutional scandal and Rep. Anthony Weiner over a lewd texting scandal.
“Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone—next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner,” Trump tweeted in 2013.