Cuomo Denies “Aggressively Groping” Female Staffer At Governor’s Mansion
Earlier this week, the Albany Times-Union, the newspaper of record for New York State’s capitol region, reported that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had been sexually inappropriate with a sixth woman – another young woman who was apparently in her 20s when Cuomo made the aggressive pass at her – at the governor’s mansion.
Though her name has not been revealed (at least, not yet), the Times Union returned last night with an even more shocking report expounding the details of the encounter. Unlike previous incidents, where Cuomo made an aggressive and inappropriate pass at a staffer or a fellow wedding guest or awkwardly planted a kiss on their cheek, the Times-Union described an encounter where a young woman was lured to the executive mansion (possibly under false pretenses) where she was “aggressively groped” by the governor.
Although the under-the-blouse grope only occurred on one occasion, the young woman accused the governor of frequently engaging in “flirtatious behavior”.
The allegations by the female aide, who is the sixth woman to accuse Cuomo of inappropriate behavior, were first reported Tuesday by the Times Union. The additional details describe the most egregious behavior attributed to the governor to date – conduct that could potentially be pursued as a misdemeanor sexual assault charge.
The person briefed on the case, who is not authorized to comment publicly, said the woman – who is much younger than Cuomo – told the governor to stop. Her broader allegations include that he frequently engaged in flirtatious behavior with her, and that it was not the only time that he had touched her.
As the Times-Union recounts, the woman says she was summoned to the governor’s mansion with a request to help out with a minor technical issue. The woman’s story contradicts Gov. Cuomo’s description of his transgressions. During a news conference last week, the governor apologized for his inappropriate behavior, but denied having ever touched a woman inappropriately. Afterwards, at least one of the woman’s supervisors reported the incident to a lawyer in the governor’s office.
Late on Wednesday, Cuomo finally issued a statement to the newspaper insisting that he had “never done anything like this.”
“As I said yesterday, I have never done anything like this. The details of this report are gut-wrenching. I am not going to speak to the specifics of this or any other allegation given the ongoing review, but I am confident in the result of the attorney general’s report.”
Despite being asked by the Times-Union about the sixth accuser’s account earlier this week, Cuomo told reporters on Tuesday that he wasn’t aware of any other accusers.
On Tuesday afternoon, several hours after Cuomo’s office had been asked about the matter by the Times Union, the governor said in a news conference, “I’m not aware of any other claim,” when he was asked by a reporter about the new story, which by then had been published online. That story included a statement from his acting counsel, Beth Garvey, who said that “all allegations” of sexual harassment made against the governor were being referred to the attorney general’s office.
New York AG Letitia James is overseeing a civil investigation into the accusations, and earlier this week appointed two lawyers – including a former top federal prosecutor – to lead the probe. Cuomo insisted that the investigation would vindicate him. His sixth accuser has declined to file a formal complaint about the incident.
Thu, 03/11/2021 – 08:21