By John Clise
Criminal charges have been leveled against former governor of New York Andrew Cuomo after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.
According to the criminal complaint, Cuomo is alleged to have “intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly place his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim (redacted) and onto her intimate body part” and that he touched the victim’s left breast “for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires.”
The complaint was signed by Amy Kowalski, an investigator with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, which was filed Thursday. The complaint was issued without the knowledge of his victim or approval of the local district attorney, according to reports.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple noted his department and the local district attorney completed their own independent investigation of the complaint.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied the allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
“In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone. But I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn,” Cuomo said during his resignation speech. “There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate. And I should have — no excuses.”
“From the moment my office received the referral to investigate allegations that former Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, we proceeded without fear or favor,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a released statement following charges being brought against the former governor. The criminal charges brought today against Mr. Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report.”
New York State Attorney General Letitia James issued a report, in early August, detailing alleged repeated incidents of alleged sexual harassment by Cuomo.
There’s been some speculation regarding the political motivations of James, as she was a likely opponent in Cuomo’s reelection attempt.
She announced her candidacy for governor via a Twitter statement earlier today.
“I’m running for Governor of New York because I have the experience, vision, and courage to take on the powerful on behalf of all New Yorkers.”
Cuomo spokesperson Richard Azzopardi released a statement Friday accusing James of using her position for her personal gain.
“Law and politics are totally separate and this is a toxic intersection of the two,” Azzopardi said. “Tish James used her office to attack the Governor for her own political benefit and she violated the law in the process.”