WASHINGTON — Former New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will not face criminal charges, following a six-month investigation by Madeline Singas, the Nassau County district attorney appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to investigate the claims made by four women about Schneiderman’s pattern of sexual violence and assault.
The women, who were Schneiderman’s past romantic partners, accused him of choking, hitting and slapping them. According to the New York Times, Ms. Singas said that while the women were credible, legal hurdles including the statute of limitations preclude criminal prosecution.
But justice can be served.
Women who have been victimized by sexually-motivated violence need more than words. Michelle Manning Barish, an accuser of Scheniderman, said in a statement on Twitter that, “ A crucial next step will be for Mr. Schneiderman to hand over all campaign contributions – which we understand to be over $8.5 Million – to groups that combat sexual violence against women and protect those who are harmed.”
We agree. Powerful men have for too long taken false comfort in the legal system’s blindness towards survivors of sexual violence, with few perpetrators facing consequences for their inhumanity and criminality.
Cases like this can be prosecuted – with the right changes in the law. Legislation needs to be introduced that strengthens state laws and protects survivors, creating explicit penalties against those who inflict physical injury on unconsenting partners for the purpose of sexual gratification. Without such laws, abusers like Eric Schneiderman can get off scot-free, while their victims continue to suffer horrendous trauma and distress.
Schneiderman has professed remorse for his abuse, but this is not enough. Eric Schneiderman needs to empty his political bank account and put that money to use, protecting women like those he has harmed. Enough is enough.