Cuomo has sexually molested a number of girls, together with staff, the New York legal professional basic finds
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually molested nearly a dozen women, including employees in his office, and violated state and federal laws, according to an investigation by the Attorney General.
The investigation found that Cuomo sexually molested 11 women, nine of whom are current and former government employees – and one of whom is a New York State soldier. “None of them welcomed it and they all found it uncomfortable,” New York attorney general Letitia James told reporters on Tuesday.
In one case, an executive assistant grabbed him by the buttocks and groped under her shirt and stroked the state trooper, the report said.
It also found that the governor and his team were taking revenge on a former employee for coming forward and promoting a “toxic” work environment.
In a statement, the Albany County, NY District Attorney’s Office said a criminal investigation into Cuomo’s conduct is ongoing and they will formally request investigative material from the AG’s office.
Cuomo again denied any wrongdoing in a video statement, saying he was issuing his own report to “share the truth now”. “The facts are very different from what is presented,” he said. “I have never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.”
He suggested that the report was tainted with “bias” and portrayed himself as the protector of women. “For those who use this moment to gain political points or to gain publicity or personal gain, I say that they are actually discrediting the legitimate victims of sexual harassment that the law is supposed to protect,” said Cuomo.
He went on to say that he will hire more coaches to prevent harassment in the offices: “I want the New York State government to be a role model for office behavior, and I brought in an expert to come up with new policies and procedures on sexual behavior Designing harassment and the whole team, including me. “
Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, has denied resignation calls and repeatedly denied wrongdoing, initially predicting that the investigation of James’ office would exonerate him. He had done the opposite when he found out he had made a lot of inappropriate comments about women and exposed some of them to unwanted touches and kisses.
“This is a sad day for New York because independent investigators have concluded that Governor Cuomo has sexually molested several women in violation of the law,” said James, whose office interviewed 179 people and over 74,000 documents over the months has checked. long probe.
Several Democrats in Washington, Albany, and New York City were quick to call for the governor’s resignation.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat who had previously urged Cuomo to resign, said in a statement: “Now that the investigation is over and the allegations are backed up, it should be clear to everyone that they can no longer do that serve as governor. “
State Assembly spokesman Carl Heastie, a Democrat who authorized the Judiciary Committee to open an impeachment investigation against Cuomo in March, said the behavior described in the report would “indicate someone unfit for office.”
“We will now deal in detail with the report and the associated exhibits” and “will soon have more to say.”
James said she would provide “all relevant evidence” to the congregation and “cooperate with their investigation if necessary.”
James’ investigators have vividly described cases of harassment that Cuomo allegedly perpetuated, including sexual comments and the attacking of women.
Cuomo has been accused of “having a pattern of inappropriate behavior,” describing one employee as “Executive Assistant # 1,” who involved kissing her on the lips at least once, hugging her buttocks, and asking multiple times if she was cheating or would cheat on her husband and reach under her blouse and grab her breast, the report says.
The report confirms the allegations made by numerous women who had come forward and also includes reports from previously unknown victims, including a state trooper Cuomo requested to be assigned to his security detail after seeing them at an event.
Cuomo harassed the soldier on several occasions, the report said.
In one case, Cuomo “ran his hand over her stomach, from her navel to her right hip,” as she held a door open, the report said. While she was standing in front of him in an elevator, he “ran his finger down her back, from the nape of her neck down her spine to the middle of her back, and said, ‘Hey, you,'” the report said.
In another case he is accused of “kissing her (and only she) on the cheek in front of another soldier and asking to kiss her on another occasion, which distracted her”. Other soldiers confirmed the accounts.
The report also included a disturbing encounter Cuomo had with a woman named Virginia Limmiatis at a 2017 conservation event in New York state.
Waiting to meet the governor and other attendees at the event, Limmiatis wore a shirt with the name of the energy company she worked for on its chest.
When Cuomo spoke to her, “he ran two fingers over her chest, pressed each of the letters and read the name of the energy company in front of Ms. Limmiatis’ cheek and said: ‘I’ll say, I see a spider on your shoulder’ before stroking his hand in the area between her shoulder and her breasts (and under her collarbone), “the report said.
Cuomo and his office also retaliated against the first woman to speak publicly about how she was treated by the governor, Lindsey Boylan, an assistant secretary for economic development and special adviser to Cuomo from 2015 to 2018.
Boylan wrote in an essay on the Medium website that she was exposed to “pervasive harassment” while working for him, including being asked to “play strip poker” and receive an unwanted kiss on the mouth.
After she first tweeted allegations of sexual harassment by the governor in December, Cuomo and the people in his office “actively sought to discredit her, including by distributing confidential internal documents to the press that she was in presented and circulated in a negative light ”. among a group of current and former executives (although not definitively published) a proposed comment or letter disparaging Ms. Boylan, which the governor was personally involved in drafting, ”the report reads.
“Light on injustice”
James’ investigators interviewed Cuomo as part of their investigation.
“Where the governor made specific denials that the complainants clearly remembered,” the report reads, “we have found that his denials are not credible and inconsistent with the weight of the evidence obtained during our investigation.”
James summed up the investigation by saying that it “revealed behavior that corrodes the structure and character of our state government and illuminates injustice that may exist at the highest levels of government.”
The report found that Cuomo and his office had violated their own policies by not immediately reporting and investigating the harassment allegations themselves.
The attorney general did not announce any charges, saying the women could bring civil lawsuits or that local police departments and prosecutors could review their findings.
“We made a report and we’ve done our job throughout the process. And at that point … we’re going to allow the chips to call where they can,” said James.
James’ office began an official investigation into Cuomo in March, just before Anna Ruch, 33, told the New York Times that she felt “uncomfortable and embarrassed” when Cuomo put his hands on her face and kissed her at a wedding in 2019 wanted to .
When asked what the public should take away from the report, James replied, “That these 11 women were in a hostile and toxic work environment and that we women should believe.”