Political News

Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will not be charged in abuse investigation, prosecutor says

Posted November 8, 2018 10:16 a.m. EST

— Eric Schneiderman, the embattled former New York Attorney General who stepped down from his post after multiple women came forward with allegations of assault, will not face criminal charges for the incidents reported, the prosecutor tasked with overseeing the case told CNN.

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas told CNN Thursday morning that her team interviewed members of Schneiderman's security detail, employees who worked with him at the New York Attorney General's office and witnesses. Singas was appointed to be the special prosecutor overseeing the investigation.

"I personally interviewed each of the women who cooperated with our investigation along with their attorneys," Singas told CNN in a statement. "I believe the women who shared their experiences with our investigation team, however legal impediments, including statutes of limitations, preclude criminal prosecution."

Schneiderman resigned six months ago after two women spoke to The New Yorker on the record saying that Schneiderman hit and chocked them, and that they later sought medical attention because of what happened.

The women, Tanya Selvaratnam and Michelle Manning Barish, each alleged that they had been romantically involved with Schneiderman but that the violence they had experienced was non-consensual.

Selvaratnam told The New Yorker that Schneiderman threatened to tap her phone, among other threats.

Singas added that the investigation found no misconduct by Schneiderman's staff in the Office of the Attorney General.

CNN reached out to the two named accusers for their thoughts on the announcement. Selvaratnam had no comment. An attorney for Barish has not responded.

Schneiderman told CNN in a statement released by a spokeswoman that he accepts full responsibility for his actions.

"I recognize that District Attorney Singas' decision not to prosecute does not mean I have done nothing wrong. I accept full responsibility for my conduct in my relationships with my accusers, and for the impact it had on them," Schneiderman's statement read. "After spending time in a rehab facility, I am committed to a lifelong path of recovery and making amends to those I have harmed. I apologize for any and all pain that I have caused, and I apologize to the people of the State of New York for disappointing them after they put their trust in me."

New York state law does not currently have legislation protecting victims who are physically abused without consent for sexual gratification when evidence of injury may not be visible.

Singas, who has focused on sex crimes prosecutions for much of her career, included with her announcement suggested legislation to "fill a gap" in New York state law that "precludes a prosecutor from charging a perpetrator who slaps, punches, shoves, or kicks another person, without consent, for sexual gratification," when evidence of injury is insufficient to meet the state's definitions of physical injury.

New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood appointed Singas as the special prosecutor in this case, and she worked with District Attorneys Tim Sini of Suffolk County and Cy Vance of Manhattan, where the alleged crimes occurred.