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A woman who accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of groping her has now filed a criminal complaint against him, a move that could ultimately put the embattled governor in handcuffs.
The woman, an executive assistant to Cuomo whose name has not been made public, filed the complaint with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday afternoon, according to the New York Post, which first reported the complaint’s existence.
The executive assistant’s account was part of the 165-page report, released earlier this week by the New York attorney general’s office, that found Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women. The woman told investigators that, in December 2019, the two took a selfie together. Cuomo “moved his hand to grab her butt cheek and began to rub it” as they took the photo, according to the report. The governor then allegedly told her not to share the photo with anyone.
On another occasion, in November 2020, the woman told investigators that she was in Cuomo’s office at the Executive Mansion. After Cuomo closed the door, he slid his hand up her blouse and grabbed her breast over her bra, the report alleges. The woman was in shock, she said, and didn’t tell anyone or respond “more forcefully,” as the report put it, because she feared losing her job.
“I feel like I was being taken advantage of and at that moment that’s when I thought to myself okay, I can’t tell anyone,” the woman said, adding, “And the sad part of this whole thing, I actually like my job. I was proud to work, especially during this pandemic. I generally enjoy working with my colleagues.”
“That was an opportunity of a lifetime for me.”
The assistant also said that Cuomo repeatedly made comments about her appearance and asked her questions about her marital status and relationships. At one point, according to the report, Cuomo told her something to the effect of, “If you were single, the things I would do to you.”
Cuomo has denied ever touching anyone inappropriately or making inappropriate sexual advances. Investigators, who interviewed 179 people and reviewed more than 74,000 records as part of their probe, said that they generally found the governor’s denials to be “contrived.”
“The governor’s blanket denials and lack of recollection as to specific incidents stood in stark contrast to the strength, specificity, and corroboration of the complainants’ recollections, as well as the reports of many other individuals who offered observations and experiences of the Governor’s conduct,” the investigators wrote.
Sheriff Craig Apple told the Post that his team is not going to rush or delay their investigation of the complaint just because its subject is the governor of New York.
“The end result could either be it sounds substantiated and an arrest is made and it would be up to the DA to prosecute the arrest.”