The Albany County sheriff plans to hold a news conference Saturday to discuss a criminal complaint his office received this week from an aide who says New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo groped her breast at the governor’s state residence.
Sheriff Craig Apple said on Twitter that “no reports will be released and details will be limited” at the 12 p.m. news conference. “Please understand this is an active investigation,” he said.
The complaint is the first known instance where a woman has made an official report with a law enforcement agency over alleged misconduct by Cuomo. The sheriff’s office has said the Democratic governor could be arrested if investigators or the county district attorney determine he committed a crime.
The aide who filed the report has accused Cuomo of reaching under her shirt and fondling her when they were alone in a room at the Executive Mansion last year. The woman also told investigators with the attorney general’s office that Cuomo once rubbed her rear end while they were posing together for a photo.
Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, has said the groping allegation was fabricated.
“He is 63 years old. He has spent 40 years in public life and for him to all of the sudden be accused of a sexual assault of an executive assistant that he really doesn’t know, doesn’t pass muster,” Glavin said.
Cuomo has faced renewed calls to step down after an independent investigation overseen by the state attorney general’s office concluded he sexually harassed 11 women and worked to retaliate against one of his accusers.
The attorney general’s report describes a series of times Cuomo allegedly acted inappropriately with the aide described as Executive Assistant #1, culminating with the groping encounter at the mansion in November 2020.
According to the woman, Cuomo pulled her in for a hug as she prepared to leave the governor’s office at the mansion. Told that “you’re going to get us in trouble,” Cuomo replied, “I don’t care,” and slammed the door shut. He slid his hand up her blouse, and grabbed her breast over her bra, according to her account.
“I have to tell you, it was — 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,” she told investigators.
She said she pulled away from Cuomo, telling him “You’re crazy.”
Cuomo has adamantly denied touching her breasts, saying “I would have to lose my mind to do such a thing.”
The state Assembly’s judiciary committee plans to meet Monday to discuss the possibility of impeachment proceedings against Cuomo. Nearly two-thirds of the legislative body have already said they favour an impeachment trial if he won’t resign.