ALBANY - Former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will not face criminal charges for allegedly abusing multiple women he was romantically involved with.

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas on Thursday announced her decision not to prosecute Schneiderman for the alleged abuse, noting that she believed the accusers but that "legal impediments," including the statute of limitations and language in state law, prevented charges.

Singas was put in charge of the investigation into Schneiderman by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in May after the attorney general abruptly resigned, hours after The New Yorker detailed graphic accounts from four women who said Schneiderman physically abused them.

The district attorney said she personally interviewed each of the four accusers during the six-month investigation, while her team interviewed Schneiderman's security detail, employees and potential witnesses.

"I believe the women who shared their experiences with our investigation team, however legal impediments, including statutes of limitations, preclude criminal prosecution," Singas said in a statement.

Schneiderman issues statement

In a statement Thursday, Schneiderman, a Democrat, appeared to broadly acknowledge his wrongdoing for the first time without directly admitting abuse.

He said he has spent time in a rehab facility since his resignation.

“I recognize that District Attorney Singas’ decision not to prosecute does not mean I have done nothing wrong," he said. "I accept full responsibility for my conduct in my relationships with my accusers, and for the impact it had on them."

Schneiderman served as New York's attorney general from 2011 through his resignation in May.

The Democrat had been a chief legal combatant of Donald Trump even before he won the presidency, leading one of the lawsuits against the Trump University program that resulted in a $25 million settlement.

Schneiderman's office also filed dozens of legal actions against Trump's administration, challenging his decisions and policies on everything from immigration to climate change.

More: In Schneiderman, Trump loses a major foe — and a 2013 tweet resurfaces

In The New Yorker article, four women said Schneiderman was physically abusive without consent during romantic encounters.

The women told similar but separate stories of abuse at the hands of Schneiderman, with all four accusing him of striking them in various ways.

At least three said Schneiderman slapped them forcefully across the face and two saying he choked or spat on them, according to the article.

Singas said her investigation highlighted "deficiencies" in the state's harassment laws that helped prevent her from bringing charges.

She pointed to the state's penal law, which limits when a harassment charge can be brought if the victim didn't suffer physical injury.

Under state law, a violation-level harassment charge applies if there is no injury and the harasser's intent was to "alarm, harass or annoy" a victim. But it doesn't apply if the harasser's intent is sexual arousal or gratification, according to Singas' office.

Singas asked state lawmakers to pass a new law creating a misdemeanor charge of sexual harassment, ensuring someone could be charged for slapping, striking, shoving or kicking someone without consent for sexual arousal.

Call for donation

In social media posts, one of Schneiderman's accusers, Michelle Manning Barish, called on the former attorney general to donate his remaining campaign funds to organizations dedicated to preventing domestic violence.

At the time of Schneiderman's resignation, state disclosure records showed him with about $8.5 million in his campaign account. In July, it was down to about $7.4 million.

In his statement, Schneiderman said he was "committed to a lifelong path of recovery and making amends to those I have harmed," issuing a broad apology for the "pain" he caused.

"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," he said.

In a series of Twitter posts, Barish said she felt "vindicated" by Schneiderman's apology and said she wishes him well in recovery.

Barish said she would help push Singas' sexual-harassment legislation in Albany.

"I appreciate the District Attorney’s statement and will work to ensure that such legislation passes in NY state and elsewhere," Barish tweeted.

"I feel completely vindicated by Eric Schneiderman’s admission that he engaged in the abuse to which he subjected me and the other women."

Sonia Ossorio, president of the New York chapter of the National Organization for Women, praised the victims for speaking out, saying they have "done a great public service."

"Mr. Scheiderman is yet another powerful man who hasn't been held accountable in a court of law for his abuse of women," Ossorio said. "The statute of limitations ran out on some of the charges, we will work with the legislature to strengthen laws so that some of these abuses are punishable."

Jon Campbell is a correspondent for the USA TODAY Network's Albany Bureau.