One of eleven women named in an independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against the governor of the state of New York, Andrew Cuomo, filed a criminal complaint, the first known since the explosive report was released this week.
The woman, whose name has not been released but who works as an assistant to Cuomo, says the governor groped her breasts at the executive mansion last year.
Her accusation is one of those in the independent report released Tuesday by the state’s attorney general, Letitia James, which concludes that Cuomo sexually harassed 11 former and current state employees.
The 63-year-old Democratic veteran has repeatedly denied touching any woman inappropriately.
“Yesterday a criminal complaint was filed, “an official with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, the state capital, told AFP.
The local press reports that the complaint was filed by a woman who is referred to as “Executive Assistant No. 1” in the report.
The independent investigation, which was civil in nature, stated that Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 former and current state employees.
The “Executive Assistant No. 1” said in the investigation that Cuomo reached into her blouse in his office in November 2020.
The attorneys of Cuomo fought back the James investigation at a press conference on Friday.
They complained that they had not received advance notice of the report’s release and said that the investigators had not shared transcripts of the testimonies with them.
“This was one-sided and he was ambushed,” said the lawyer of Cuomo, Rita Glavin.
The lawyer also showed the journalists transcripts of emails allegedly sent by Executive Assistant No. 1 that, according to Glavin, questioned her testimony.
“It was the governor himself who asked Attorney General James to oversee an independent investigation.” One of the advisers of the high official, Fabien Levy, responded in a statement, promising to deliver the transcripts of the statements.
“There are testimonies of eleven women corroborated by mountains of evidence,” he added.
Since then, at least five district attorneys have opened investigations into Cuomo’s behavior.
Legal experts suggest the governor could face misdemeanor charges for touching a person without consent.
The report also accuses him of presiding over a workplace toxic to women and of retaliating against at least one of its accusers.
Cuomo has rejected calls by President Joe Biden and other leading Democrats to resign, but state lawmakers are mobilizing to impeach him.
He has been given a period until August 13 to present evidence in his defense before his challenge investigation.
Cuomo was initially praised for his handling of the coronavirus crisis, but later became embroiled in accusations of having covered up the scale of deaths in nursing homes.
It is believed that Cuomo had hoped to win a fourth term as governor in elections scheduled for November next year, but a poll released on Friday suggests that might not be possible.
The Quinnipiac University poll revealed that 70% of New York voters surveyed thought he should resign, while 55% thought he should be indicted.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.
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