Help who accused Cuomo files criminal complaint
ALBANY, NY – A woman who accused Governor Andrew Cuomo of groping her breasts at the governor’s state residence has filed a criminal complaint against him, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office said on Friday.
The complaint, filed Thursday with the sheriff’s office, is the first known case where a woman has filed an official report with a law enforcement agency for Cuomo’s alleged misconduct.
“We take every complaint seriously,” Albany County Deputy Sheriff William Rice said on Friday.
The Democratic governor may be arrested if investigators or the county attorney determine he committed a crime, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple told The New York Post.
“The end result could be that it seems justified and that an arrest is made and that it would be up to the prosecutor to continue the arrest,” he told the newspaper, which was the first to report on the complaint. “Just because of who it is, we’re not going to rush it or delay it,” Apple said.
Apple did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press. His office confirmed to the PA that the report had been filed.
Cuomo’s aide who filed the report accused him of reaching under his shirt and petting her when they were alone together at the Executive Mansion last year. The woman also told investigators from the Attorney General’s Office that Cuomo once rubbed his behind as they posed for a photo together.
The sheriff’s office did not immediately provide a copy of the complaint. A request for comment was sent to Cuomo’s attorney, Rita Glavin.
The Albany County District Attorney did not confirm that they had received a complaint, saying they did not intend to release any information because “it is an ongoing case that is ongoing. review, ”spokeswoman Cecilia Walsh said in an email.
Cuomo has denied touching anyone inappropriately. Her attorneys acknowledged that Cuomo and the woman met on the day of the alleged encounter, but said he never groped her.
Calls for Cuomo’s resignation or impeachment soared this week after an independent investigation overseen by the state’s attorney general’s office found Cuomo sexually harassed 11 women and worked to exercise retaliation against one of his accusers.
The Attorney General’s report describes a series of times Cuomo allegedly acted inappropriately with the assistant described as Executive Assistant # 1, culminating in the groping encounter at the mansion on November 16, 2020.
Cuomo pulled her into his arms as she prepared to leave the governor’s office. Said “you’re going to get us in trouble,” Cuomo replied, “I don’t care” and slammed the door. He slipped his hand over her blouse and grabbed her chest over her bra, according to the report.
“I have to tell you that it was – at the moment I was so in shock I could just tell you that I just remember looking at her hand, seeing the top of my bra,” he said. -she declared to investigators.
She walked away from Cuomo and said, “You’re crazy.”
The woman had originally planned to bring the harassment allegations “to the grave”.
“(A) every time he touched me, I felt like it was inappropriate. He was my boss, not to mention the Governor of New York State, so I really felt he had abused his power and I certainly knew he had this presence about him, very intimidating, no one never told him he was wrong nor told you to do it. He certainly knew what he was doing was inappropriate, ”she said.
Cuomo categorically denied touching her breasts, saying “I would have to lose my mind to do such a thing.”
Prosecutors in several New York counties have said they want to investigate the allegations of improper contact by Cuomo, but all have said they need the women involved in the allegations to make a formal report.
The Albany Police Department, the city’s main law enforcement agency, had been made aware of the woman’s allegations about the meeting at the mansion several months ago and had spoken to her lawyer, but had failed not opened an investigation at the time because she had not failed to report.
The criminal investigation comes as lawmakers move towards likely impeachment proceedings over the allegations.
Lawyers working for the State Assembly sent a letter to Cuomo on Thursday giving him until August 13 to respond to the allegations against him or provide documents to strengthen his defense.
The state assembly’s judicial committee plans to meet on Monday to discuss the possibility of impeachment proceedings. Almost two-thirds of the legislature have already said they favor an impeachment trial if he does not resign.
AP reporter Michael Hill contributed from Albany, NY