Former NY governor Cuomo accused of groping in court filing
New York – A criminal complaint accusing former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of groping has been filed in a court.
The complaint, filed in the state capital Albany on Thursday, accuses Cuomo of groping a woman under her blouse at the governor’s mansion.
A lawyer for Cuomo – who resigned in August – denied the charge, dismissing it as politically motivated.
A misdemeanour count of unwanted touching can carry a sentence of one year in prison.
Cuomo stepped down after the New York state attorney general found in an investigation that he had harassed 11 female employees.
The former governor denied sexual misconduct, but apologised for ever making any woman feel uncomfortable.
According to CBS News, the BBC’s partner in the US, Cuomo has been issued with a criminal summons to appear in court on November 17.
The filing states that Cuomo did “intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly place his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim and onto her intimate body part”.
It states that he did this “for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires, all contrary to the provisions of the statute”.
The complaint does not name the victim, but says the alleged abuse occurred at the governor’s executive mansion in Albany on December 7, 2020.
Cuomo’s lawyer, Rita Glavin, told CBS that her client denies the charges, and accused the local sheriff of an “improper” motive.
“This is not professional law enforcement; this is politics,” she said.
The charge comes more than two months after a former aide to Cuomo, Brittany Commisso, filed a complaint with the county sheriff, accusing the governor of touching her breast last year.
Cuomo has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing towards Commisso, who is a former executive assistant to the governor.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, who investigated Cuomo and is now herself tipped as a candidate for governor, tweeted: “The criminal charges against Mr Cuomo for forcible touching further validate the findings in our report.” (BBC)