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7 Aug, 2021 01:09

Woman files first CRIMINAL complaint accusing New York Governor Cuomo of grabbing her breast – reports

Woman files first CRIMINAL complaint accusing New York Governor Cuomo of grabbing her breast – reports

An aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, one of 11 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct, reportedly became the first to file a criminal complaint, saying he reached under her shirt and groped her.

The complaint was filed on Thursday with the sheriff’s office in Albany County, where the state capital is located, the New York Post reported. Sheriff Craig Apple told the Post that he contacted the Albany County district attorney’s office, which will determine whether to prosecute the governor.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares is among four New York prosecutors who said earlier this week that they plan to investigate whether Cuomo’s alleged misconduct included any crimes committed in their jurisdictions. Those statements came in response to a report released on Tuesday by state Attorney General Letitia James, who said her investigators determined that sexual-harassment claims against the Democrat governor by 11 women were true.

Also on rt.com ‘Even his base is deserting him’: Majority of New Yorkers say Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign amid sexual harassment scandal

The attorney general’s investigation was civil, however, and left it to local district attorneys to make findings on potential criminal charges. Until Thursday, none of those prosecutors had a victim who had come forward to file a formal complaint on which to build an indictment.

The woman who filed the Albany complaint, whose name wasn’t disclosed, was identified in the attorney general’s report as “Executive Assistant #1.” As detailed in the report, the groping incident allegedly occurred last November at the governor’s mansion in Albany. As she prepared to leave the mansion after completing her work, the governor pulled her into his office “for a close hug,” the report said.

According to the allegations, the woman stepped away from Cuomo and said, “You’re going to get us in trouble,” to which he replied, “I don’t care,” and slammed his office door shut. He then slid his hand up her blouse and cupped her breast over her bra, the report said. She then pulled away and said, “You’re crazy.”

The woman told state investigators that she didn’t respond more forcefully or report the alleged assault because she feared losing her job. “At the moment I was in such shock that I could just tell you that I just remember looking down, seeing his hand, seeing the top of my bra...,” the executive assistant said, adding that she remembered the exact bra that she was wearing and Cuomo’s hand cupping her breast. She also alleged incidents in which the governor kissed her, including at least once on the lips, and grabbed and rubbed her behind while taking a selfie together.

Cuomo denied the groping accusation, telling investigators, “To touch a woman’s breast who I hardly know, in the mansion, with 10 staff around, with my family in the mansion, to say ‘I don’t care who sees us’ ... I would have to lose my mind to do such a thing.” One of his lawyers reportedly also argued that he was too busy that day to have time to grope someone in the executive mansion.

The state report noted that the incident allegedly occurred in the smaller of the governor’s two offices, away from common areas and behind closed doors. There wasn’t any evidence that there were 10 staffers in the vicinity of the private, second-floor office, investigators said.

CNN cited an anonymous source “with direct knowledge” as saying Cuomo’s lawyers aren’t worried about the complaint because “there’s no evidence.” The governor’s legal team held an online briefing with reporters on Friday, attacking the attorney general’s report and calling it “conducted in a manner to support a predetermined narrative” rather than seeking truth.

Cuomo’s lawyers “attacked the credibility” of his accusers and the state investigators, said Fabien Levy, a spokesman for James. “To attack this investigation and attempt to undermine and politicize this process takes away from the bravery displayed by these women.”  

The governor’s alleged victims include current and former state employees, as well as private citizens. One is a female state trooper who was on his security detail. She alleged that he ran his hand across her stomach, from her navel to her hip, while she held a door open for him. On another occasion, he ran his finger from the top of her neck down to the middle of her back in an elevator, the state report said.

The bombshell report prompted Democratic Party leaders, including President Joe Biden, to call for Cuomo’s resignation. The governor has so far refused to step down, but a majority of state lawmakers reportedly support impeaching him if he doesn’t quit.

A Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday showed that 55% of New Yorkers believe that Cuomo should be criminally charged. Just 29% said a criminal indictment isn’t merited, while 16% were undecided. The survey, which was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, showed that 70% of voters, including 57% of Democrats, think the governor should resign.

Also on rt.com Tara Reade: In 2013, Andrew Cuomo stated that sexual harassment should not be tolerated. This statement has not aged well

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