An aide to Andrew Cuomo who claims the New York governor groped her at the executive mansion last year has filed a criminal complaint with the Albany County sheriff’s office, the sheriff said Friday, the latest sign of legal trouble for Cuomo after an independent investigation published earlier this week accused him of sexually harassing 11 women.
She previously made public her allegations that Cuomo, 63, reached under her shirt and groped her breast after she was called to help the governor with a minor technical issue involving his cell phone.
Cuomo, after this claim was detailed by New York Attorney General Letitia James in her report published Tuesday, flatly denied it ever happened, saying: “I welcome the opportunity for a full and fair review before a judge and jury because this just did not happen.”
Brian Premo, an attorney for the woman, told The Wall Street Journal the complaint centers around the alleged groping and other allegation of inappropriate touching also outlined in the 165-page report.
“The end result could either be it sounds substantiated and the arrest is made and it would be up to the [district attorney] to prosecute the arrest,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple in an interview with The New York Post.
When reached for comment, Richard Azzopardi, a spokesperson for the governor, pointed to the Cuomo administration’s referral of the aide’s allegations to the Albany Police Department in May. “As we previously said, we proactively made a referral nearly four months ago in accordance with state policies,” said Azzopardi.
The allegations from this unnamed aide are the most serious that have been levied against the governor. “He cupped my breast,” the woman told investigators on the New York Attorney General’s team, continuing: “I have to tell you it was—at the moment I was just in such shock that I could just tell you I remember looking down seeing his hand.” However, the attorney general investigation also detailed allegations from 10 other women, including current and former employees. The release of this report has unleashed a wave of calls for Cuomo’s resignation and has expedited a state-level investigation into whether the governor should be impeached.
What To Watch For
It has also already started to draw mounting legal trouble for the governor, who is now being criminal investigated by five different prosecutors’ offices, including that of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. Another woman accusing the governor of sexual harassment, Lindsey Boylan, has also signaled she plans to launch legal action against him.