Sheriff: Cuomo's aide files criminal complaint

A woman accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of groping her breast at the governor's state residence filed a criminal complaint against him, the Albany County Sheriff's office said Friday.

Sheriff: Cuomo's aide files criminal complaint

Thursday's complaint was filed with the sheriff's department. It is the first time that a woman has ever made an official report to a law enforcement agency regarding alleged misconduct by Cuomo.

Friday's statement by William Rice, Albany County Undersheriff, was "We take every complaint serious."

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said that it is possible for the Democratic governor to be arrested if investigators and the county district attorney find he has committed a crime.

He said that the end result could be "it sounds substantiated, and an arrest has been made. It would be up the DA to prosecute it," he explained to the newspaper, which was the first one to report on the case. Apple stated that "just because it's who it is, we're not going to rush it" or delay it.

Apple did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press. His office confirmed to The Associated Press that the report was filed.

Cuomo's aide filed the report accusing him of touching her undershirt and fondling her last year while they were alone at the Executive Mansion. Investigators from the attorney general's offices also found out that Cuomo had once rubbed the woman's rear while they were taking a photo together.

The complaint was not immediately provided by the sheriff's office. Rita Glavin, Cuomo’s lawyer, was contacted to request comment.

According to Cecilia Walsh, spokesperson for Albany County District Attorney Cecilia Walsh stated in an email that the Albany County district attorney had not confirmed that they had received a complaint. She said that no information would be released because it was an ongoing matter and that they were reviewing it.

Cuomo denied inappropriate touching of any person. Cuomo's lawyers acknowledged that Cuomo met the woman on the day of the alleged encounter but denied touching her.

After an independent investigation by the state attorney general concluded that Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women, and attempted to retaliate against one of them, calls for Cuomo's resignation/impeachment shot up this week.

According to the attorney general's report, Cuomo was accused of acting inappropriately with Executive Assistant #1. This culminated in the encounter at the mansion on November 16, 2020.

Cuomo hugged her as she was about to leave the governor’s office. Cuomo told her that she was going to put us in trouble and then he said, "I don’t care" and closed the door. According to the report, he pulled her blouse up and grabbed her breasts over her bra.

She said, "I must tell you, it wasn't -- at that moment, I was so shocked that I could only tell you that I looked down and saw his hand on my bra," she explained to investigators.

She walked away from Cuomo, and she said, "You're crazy."

In the beginning, the woman planned to "take the harassment claims to the grave."

"(A)nytime he touched me I felt it was inappropriate. I was his boss and Governor of New York so I felt he misused his power. He also had this intimidating presence around him. No one ever told him he was wrong or told you to. She testified that he knew exactly what he was doing was wrong.

Cuomo has repeatedly denied touching her breasts and said that "I would have lost my mind to do so."

While several New York County Prosecutors have indicated that they are interested to investigate allegations of Cuomo inappropriate touching, they all stated they need the women who made the allegations to submit a formal report.

Albany Police Department was the main law enforcement agency in the city. They had been made aware of the woman's claims about the encounter at the mansion a few months ago. They had also spoken to her lawyer. However, they didn't open an inquiry at that time as she hadn't filed a report.

The criminal investigation comes as lawmakers were moving toward a likely impeachment proceeding over the allegations.

Lawyers working for the state Assembly sent a letter to Cuomo Thursday giving him until Aug. 13 to respond to the allegations against him or provide documents to bolster his defense.

Monday's meeting of the state Assembly's judiciary panel will discuss the possibility for impeachment proceedings. Nearly two-thirds of the legislative body have already said they favor an impeachment trial if he won't resign.

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